Sep 18 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 19

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comALL RISE for the honorable Wheel of Time Re-read! *gavel*

Today’s entry covers Chapters 33 and 34 of Towers of Midnight, in which I and various fictional characters conspire to make lawyers, aspiring writers and immature deities alike all burst into tears. Because we are just that awesome. Or awful. Or both. Jury’s still out on that one.

That was a legal joke, by the way. *points up solemnly* Yes.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the upcoming final volume, A Memory of Light.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!


Chapter 33: A Good Soup

What Happens
Siuan and Nynaeve are in Egwene’s study, enjoying a surprisingly unspoiled soup while Nynaeve gives her report on Rand; Nynaeve had taken her Oaths earlier that day. Egwene comments that this confirmation that saidin has been cleansed makes her a little less uncomfortable with the idea of Asha’man and Aes Sedai bonding one another, but she is still not happy with the situation. Nynaeve interjects that Rand didn’t approve of it either.

“It doesn’t matter if he did or not,” Egwene said. “The Asha’man are his responsibility.”

“As the Aes Sedai who chained him and beat him are yours, Mother?” Nynaeve asked.

“Inherited from Elaida, perhaps,” Egwene said, eyes narrowing just slightly.

She was right to bring Nynaeve back, Siuan thought, taking a sip of soup. She takes his side far too often for comfort.

Siuan comments that he has changed, though, and that the man who came to the Tower doesn’t seem like the kind of man who could do what he did to Natrin’s Barrow. Egwene agrees, and opines that the man she saw wouldn’t have needed to do it at all, as “those inside would just follow him.” They discuss the deaths in the Tower and the increasing distrust they are engendering among the sisters, and Egwene tells Siuan that the plan must be set in motion. She explains to Nynaeve about her plan to pretend to have high-level meetings with the Windfinders and Wise Ones in Tel’aran’rhiod, to flush out Mesaana and her followers and trap them. Nynaeve thinks it a good plan, except that it involves Egwene directly, and volunteers to lead it in Egwene’s stead.

“I’ll admit you have a valid concern,” Egwene said. “Ever since I let myself get captured by Elaida’s cronies outside of Tar Valon, I’ve wondered if I become too directly involved, too directly in danger.”

“Exactly,” Nynaeve said.

“However,” Egwene said, “the simple fact remains that I am the one among us who is most expert at Tel’aran’rhiod. You two are skilled, true, but I have more experience. In this case, I am not just the leader of the Aes Sedai, I am a tool that the White Tower must use.” She hesitated. “I dreamed this, Nynaeve. If we do not defeat Mesaana here, all could be lost. All will be lost. It is not a time to hold back any of our tools, no matter how valuable.”

Nynaeve grimaces, but accepts this. Siuan asks if the Wise Ones might be willing to help, and Egwene thinks it a good idea. Nynaeve begins to suggest that perhaps she should ask Rand for help too, but Egwene tells her it is a Tower matter, and they will manage it.

Perrin plunges into another nightmare, this one of a shipwreck, with a kraken-like monster below dragging down the survivors. Perrin tells himself it isn’t real, but loses his focus for just a moment and finds himself sucked in. He almost gives in to panic, but concentrates with all his might on believing that he was in Cairhien on a dry street, not drowning in the sea, and slowly the regular wolf dream reasserts itself around him and the nightmare breaks apart. Hopper approaches and tells him that he is growing strong.

“I still take too long,” Perrin said, glancing over his shoulder. “Every time I enter, it takes me a few minutes to regain control. I need to be faster. In a battle with Slayer, a few minutes might as well be an eternity.”

He will not be so strong as these.

“He’ll still be strong enough,” Perrin said.

Perrin thinks he has to learn fast, thinking of the wolves all heading now for the Borderlands, in both the dream and in the waking world. He thinks the Last Hunt is upon them, and goes with Hopper to find another nightmare.

Gawyn is amazed that the gardens in the Palace are in bloom when everything else seems to be wilting. Elayne finds him and comments that the cloud cover broke over Caemlyn a week ago, but nowhere else, and that she thinks it is due to something Rand did. Gawyn scowls and spits that al’Thor follows him “even here.” Elayne is amused, and reminds him that this is where they met him for the first time. He asks if Rand is the father, and Elayne replies that she would be prudent to hide that fact, if he were.

Gawyn felt sick. He’d suspected it the moment he’d discovered the pregnancy. “Burn me,” he said. “Elayne, how could you? After what he did to our mother!”

“He did nothing to her,” Elayne said. “I can produce witness after witness that will confirm it, Gawyn. Mother vanished before Rand liberated Caemlyn.” There was a fond look in her eyes as she spoke of him. “Something is happening to him. I can feel it, feel him changing. Cleansing. He drives back the clouds and makes the roses bloom.”

Gawyn thinks she is being irrational. They bicker lightly over an incident in their childhoods before setting out to row on the pond, and then Elayne asks why Gawyn has come to Caemlyn now when he stayed away during the siege. Gawyn protests that he was embroiled in Tower politics, and Elayne replies that she isn’t chastising him, but she thought that Egwene needed him now. Gawyn replies “Apparently not.” Elayne says she will gladly make him Captain-General, but she thinks she doesn’t want that.

“What makes you say that?”

“Well, you’ve spent the majority of your time here moping around these gardens.”

“I have not been moping. I’ve been pondering.”

“Ah, yes. I see you’ve learned to speak the truth creatively, too.”

Gawyn says that it’s been good for him to be here, free of Aes Sedai for a while. He says he was sure he needed to be with Egwene, but she is so concerned with being strong that she doesn’t have room for “anyone who won’t bow to her every whim.” Elayne counters that Egwene must put forward a strong front to counter her youth – something Elayne can sympathize with – and that she bets what Egwene really wants is someone she can trust completely to do what she needs without needing to be told what that is. Gawyn says he doesn’t know if he can do that, and she replies that if he wishes to marry an Amyrlin, then he must. Gawyn changes the subject back to al’Thor, and Elayne observes that she doesn’t think Gawyn’s hatred of him is about their mother at all. Gawyn replies that he is a sheepherder; what right does he have to change the world?

“Particularly while you huddled in a village?” He’d told her most of what had happened to him in the last few months. “While he conquered nations, you were being forced to kill your friends, then were sent to your death by your Amyrlin.”


“So it’s jealousy,” Elayne said softly.

“No. Nonsense. I…”

“What would you do, Gawyn?” Elayne asked. “Would you duel him?”


“And what would happen if you won and ran him through as you’ve said you wanted to do? Would you doom us all to satisfy your momentary passion?”

He had no reply to that.

She calls it selfishness. Gawyn retaliates by calling her out on her stunt with the Black Ajah, and Elayne blushes and concedes that perhaps they both need to learn to be more temperate. She insists that Egwene does need him even if she doesn’t realize it. They reach the shore, and Elayne tells him that she releases him from his duties here, and will proclaim that his title of First Prince of the Sword will be held in abeyance for him until the Last Battle is over. He is uncertain about this, but smiles at her growing confidence in her role. She leaves, and Gawyn walks on, contemplating. He concedes to himself that perhaps she was right that al’Thor had had nothing to do with his mother’s death, and perhaps there was no point in hating the man when he was going to die at the Last Battle anyway.

“She is right,” Gawyn whispered, watching the hawkflies dance over the surface of the water. “We’re done, al’Thor. From now on, I care nothing for you.”

It felt like an enormous weight lifting from his shoulders. Gawyn let out a long, relaxed sigh. Only now that Elayne had released him did he realize how much guilt he’d felt over his absence from Andor. That was gone now, too.

He decides to focus on Egwene, and pulls out the assassin’s knife to inspect the red stones on it, only to be accosted by a woman walking with a Kinswoman named Dimana. The woman, Marille, insists she has seen a knife like it before. Gawyn is puzzled by Marille’s difficulty with referring to herself in the first person, and Dimana explains that Marille used to be a Seanchan damane. At Gawyn’s query, Marille explains it is a Bloodknife, and Gawyn could not have won it in battle, because Bloodknives only fall “when their own blood turns against them.” Gawyn realizes she is talking about Seanchan assassins, and urges her to explain about them, but his urgency frightens Marille, who begins begging for punishment. Dimana brings him instead to one of the former sul’dam, Kaisea, though she deems her “unreliable.” Kaisea smoothly prostrates herself to Gawyn, to his startlement, and insists that she must be collared. Dimana explains the situation to Gawyn, and her concern that Kaisea is trying to learn enough of the Power to do something destructive so that they will be forced to collar her. Kaisea is shocked by the Bloodknife, though, and also insists that Gawyn could not have survived the encounter, as the Bloodknives are the most ruthless killers since “they are already dead.”

“They are poisoned by their service. Once they are given a charge, they often will not last more than a few weeks. At most, they survive a month.”

Gawyn held up the knife, disturbed. “So we only need to wait them out.”

Kaisea laughed. “That will not happen. Before they die, they will see their duty fulfilled.”

Gawyn asks what their weaknesses are, but Kaisea insists they have none. She says that the only way Gawyn would have survived his encounter is because he must not be their true target. Dimana takes Kaisea away, and Gawyn reflects that obviously the real target is Egwene, and that he had to warn her. A servant approaches with a letter from Silviana, which informs him that the Amyrlin was displeased at his departure, and that he has had enough time to “idle” in Caemlyn, and his presence is required in Tar Valon “with all haste.” This infuriates Gawyn, who throws the knife on the tray in reply, and tells the servant to tell Egwene that the assassin is not who she thought it was, but Seanchan, and very dangerous. The servant looks confused, but leaves.

He tried to cool his rage. He wouldn’t go back, not now. Not when it would look as if he’d come crawling back at her command. She had her “careful plans and traps.” She had said she didn’t need him. She would have to do without him for a while, then.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHH *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Gawyn, I know you’re in the wrong mythology for it, but I really think you might be making the baby Jesus cry anyway. CRYING, REAL TEARS.

Because, dude. DUDE. You are quite sincerely the most annoying person IN EXISTENCE as far as I am concerned at this moment. That will probably change as soon as I have to drive over the river in rush hour traffic again, true, but right now, m’boy, you are the WINNAH. Holy hell.

He’s annoying me into head injuries EVEN WITH his decision to finally, finally turn in his membership card to The Rand al’Thor Haters Club, because even his good decisions manage to be so condescending you want to smack him around for them anyway. Which is a truly impressive feat. For massively irritating values of “impressive,” I suppose. “Oh la, now that everyone I’ve ever met has told me Rand had nothing to do with my mother’s death, and that I’m being the putziest putz that ever putzed for wanting to kill the savior of the frickin’ world just because he makes me look bad, I guess I’ll be the bigger person and let it go!”

Yeah, your Certificate of Noble Sacrifice is totally in the mail. You putz. *throws things*

Gragh. But it’s nice, I suppose, that the text is totally not beating around the bush when it comes to Gawyn’s essential pettiness and elitism re: Rand. Yes, how dare a sheepherder outshine a prince, OMGWFTBBQ! I’m gonna sprain my eye-rollers, that’s how hard they’re rolling here.

But, that said, it’s not like that’s not an attitude a prince of a realm might totally have. So… yay? For realism? I guess?


In any case, three cheers for Elayne for totally calling him out on his hypocrisy, and even acknowledging a bit of her own while she’s at it. TRVTH, we loves it.

(Huh. Microsoft Word does not mark “TRVTH” as a misspelling. INTRIGUING.)

As for Egwene, okay, look. I think I might have said this before, but whatever: it’s a feature, not a bug.

Captain Kirk always, always, always managed to be on the away team beaming down to the inevitably very dangerous unknown planet, even though in reality no sane starship protocol would ever allow for that, yes? Yes. And in the same way, Egwene will always manage to be on the front lines of whatever crazy-ass thing the Tower is doing, even though in reality (for whatever frail, tattered values of “reality” we’re still clinging to, here) the WOT equivalent of the freakin’ Pope would never, ever, ever be allowed to fling her life around like that.

Because you see, Timmy, in Fiction Land, being a/the protagonist of a story will always trump the practicalities of the actual role that protagonist is playing, if those practicalities would interfere with or remove them from the main action/drama/conflict of the story. That’s why Harrison Ford’s POTUS gets to fling Gary Oldman’s Russian terrorist out of planes, and any actual, real President of the United States really, really wouldn’t.

So if you really want to avoid stress re: Egwene, I suggest you pull on your Fiction Cap as firmly as you can, settle in, and go with it. Because this particular Pontiff-analogue will not be riding all safe and sound in a bulletproof Popemobile anytime in our foreseeable WOT future, so you might as well accept that now and enjoy it.

Re: Perrin, not much to say about his section, except that I don’t know if I could do that, see a thing and convince myself it wasn’t there. Especially while simultaneously fighting off a terror-invoked fight or flight response, which (among other things) has got to be just about the most distracting feeling ever in the history of everything. I mean, I don’t know how many of you have had the misfortune to have been scared absolutely fucking shitless in your life, like as in “Oh holy shit I am about to seriously die in the next ten seconds,” but those of you who have can probably attest that being actually able to think logically during such times is a feat of multitasking that is either the result of serious training, or ought to be declared a damn miracle.


Chapter 34: Judgment

What Happens
Perrin insists to Sulin that the Maidens be deployed as scouts; she is reluctant, but agrees. Perrin worries about the divisions in his camp, but tells himself he is disbanding them anyway, so it doesn’t matter. He tells Dannil that whatever plot Faile has concocted to protect him, Dannil will not execute without giving him warning first; Dannil is sheepish, and agrees.

Perrin needed to be done with this. Free of it. Now. Because, over these last few days, it had begun to feel natural to him.I’m just a… He trailed off. Just a what? A blacksmith? Could he say that anymore? What was he?

He consults with Neald, and concludes that the area in which the gateways aren’t working is probably exactly the area covered by the dome in the wolf dream. He tells Neald that he thinks someone is setting a trap for them, possibly with an object of Power. Neald suggests moving out of the range of influence, but Perrin thinks Slayer will be ready for that. He wishes Elyas were back from his “special scouting mission.”

Someone’s pulling a snare tight, Perrin thought, slowly, inch by inch, around my leg. Probably waiting for him to fight the Whitecloaks. Afterward, his army would be weakened and wounded. Easy pickings. It gave him a chill to realize that if he’d gone to battle with Damodred earlier, the trap might have been sprung right then. The trial suddenly took on enormous import.

Gaul comments that Perrin has changed; he is no longer protesting about being chief. Perrin replies that he still doesn’t enjoy it; he does it because he must. Gaul only nods.

Faile sends Aravine off, and notes that the Two Rivers men seem to be looking at her with relief rather than shame. She thinks that the rumors of her saving Berelain during the bubble of evil incident were finally working in her and Perrin’s favor. She dresses in her finest dress and rides to Perrin. She notes with amusement how Bain and Chiad force new weapons on Gaul. Perrin tells her the Last Hunt is here, and that Rand is in danger; he confesses that he sees visions of Rand whenever his name is mentioned, and that he believes his army is being herded. He remembers his dream about sheep running from wolves, and suddenly realizes that he is the sheep, not the wolves. He says something wants to trap them and attack, but there is no sign of a Waygate in the area, though Elyas is looking. He tells her they will go forward with the trial, and then tonight he will try and remove the thing preventing gateways in the dream. They ride to where the Whitecloaks wait at the pavilion.

A chair had been set on a low platform at the northern end, its back to the distant forest of leatherleaf. Morgase sat in the elevated chair, looking every inch a monarch, wearing a gown of red and gold that Galad must have found for her. How had Faile ever mistaken this woman for a simple lady’s maid?

Galad is next to her, and Berelain is staring. Perrin calls to Galad that he wishes a promise from him that this will not turn to battle, but Galad replies he can only promise that if Perrin promises he will not run if the verdict goes against him. Faile sees that Perrin is considering it, and Faile reminds him of his greater duty to his army, Rand, and the Last Battle. Perrin hesitates, and agrees with her.

Perrin feels like a coward for his determination not to abide by the ruling if negative. Morgase opens the trial, and Galad presents the charges; the unlawful murder of Child Lathin and Child Yamwick, and that of being a Darkfriend and bringing Trollocs into the Two Rivers. He adds that the last charge cannot be substantiated, but Aybara has already admitted his guilt on the first two. Perrin answers that he killed those men, but that it wasn’t murder. Byar is called to give his account of the story, and as he speaks Perrin remembers the fear and confusion of that night. He says Aybara attacked them, and moved like a beast rather than a man. Perrin rises, and replies that Byar’s account is “nearly right.” He tells Morgase that in order to understand something or someone, you must first know what they are made of.

“I can speak with wolves. I hear their voices in my mind. I know that sounds like the admission of a madman, but I suspect that many in my camp who hear it won’t be surprised. Given time, I could prove it to you, with the cooperation of some local wolves.

[…] “This thing I can do,” Perrin said. “It’s a piece of me, just as forging iron is. Just as leading men is. If you’re going to pass judgment on me because of it, you should understand it.”

Bornhald declares that Perrin convicts himself of being a Darkfriend, but Morgase interrupts to declare that that accusation is not the purpose of this court, but to determine his culpability in the deaths of the two Whitecloaks. Bornhald subsides angrily. Perrin tells the court that the wolves are his friends, and he moved to defend them when the Whitecloaks attacked his friends. He admits that he was not in control of himself, that he felt the wolves’ pain as they died. Bornhald jumps up and insists that Perrin murdered his father at Falme, but Perrin replies that he fought on the same side as Geofram Bornhald, against the Seanchan, and swears an oath that he had nothing to do with Geofram’s death. Byar insists he is lying, but Galad does not buy his reasoning. Byar claims Perrin was fighting alongside ghostly “creatures of evil.”

“The Heroes of the Horn, Byar,” Perrin said. “Couldn’t you see that we were fighting alongside the Whitecloaks?”

“You seemed to be,” Byar said wildly. “Just as you seemed to be defending the people in the Two Rivers. But I saw through you, Shadowspawn! I saw through you the moment I met you!”

“Is that why you told me to escape?” Perrin said softly. “When I was confined in the elder Lord Bornhald’s tent, following my capture. You gave me a sharp rock to cut my bonds and told me that if I ran, nobody would chase me.”

Galad asks if this is true, and Byar denies it, badly. Morgase asks Perrin if he thinks he has spoken adequately for himself, and Perrin replies that the Whitecloaks had no authority to do as they did, and he had no obligation not to defend himself from them, but to himself he acknowledges that he had lost control of himself. Morgase observes that he already knows her decision.

“Do what you must,” Perrin said.

“Perrin Aybara, I pronounce you guilty.”

“No!” Faile screamed. “How dare you! He took you in!”

[…] “This has nothing to do with how I personally feel about Perrin,” Morgase said. “This is a trial by Andoran law. Well, the law is very clear. Perrin may feel that the wolves were his friends, but the law states that a man’s hound or livestock is worth a certain price. Slaying them is unlawful, but killing a man in retribution is even more so.”

Byar wants to know why it matters, if Aybara is not going to abide by the judgment, and Morgase replies that her sentence is thus: the Whitecloaks were an unauthorized military group in Andor, and thus Perrin’s act is subject to the Kainec Protocol. Galad explains that she has ruled the altercation to be a brawl between unemployed mercenary groups, therefore changing the charge of “murder” to “illegal killing,” which can still carry a sentence of death but can be much more lenient depending on the circumstances. Morgase then declares that she leaves the decision of the sentence to Galad. Galad deems it “a strange choice,” and asks again if Perrin will abide by his decision, or settle this with conflict.

Can I continue to run? he thought. Hounded by that day? There were no coincidences with ta’veren. Why had the Pattern brought him here to confront these nightmares from his past?

“I will abide by it, Damodred,” Perrin said.

“What?” Faile gasped.

“But,” Perrin said, raising a finger, “only so long as you promise to delay execution of this punishment until after I have done my duty at the Last Battle.”

Galad asks how he will know that Perrin will keep his word; Perrin replies that he came to the trial, didn’t he? Galad counters that he had Perrin’s people captive, and Perrin asks, if he were a Darkfriend, why would he have cared? Perrin swears a binding oath that he will submit to Galad’s authority if they both survive to the end of this, and Galad accepts, to Byar’s horror. Galad asks if Morgase will be returning with him, and Morgase says that she must go with Aybara back to Andor. Galad accepts this, and goes to leave.

“Wait,” Perrin called. “You didn’t tell me what my punishment will be, once I submit.”

“No,” Galad said, still walking. “I didn’t.”

Well, that was kind of bitchy of you, wasn’t it, Galad?

I totally get Faile’s reaction to Morgase’s verdict, but the fact of the matter is that Morgase was right: Perrin was guilty. In a modern U.S. court (assuming a modern U.S. court would accept a defense of wolfbrotherliness as a legit form of extreme emotional disturbance, natch) it probably would have been ruled, mm, either voluntary manslaughter or second degree murder, depending on how lenient that particular court was (or wasn’t). I vote voluntary manslaughter, myself.

But then again, it’s probably (slightly) more reasonable to do what Morgase did, and look at it from a military perspective rather than a civilian one, even though I think her decision to classify Perrin and Egwene as a “rival mercenary group” is really shaky, and definitely points to her not-so-secret sympathies for the Perrin camp, since that so conveniently allows for a sentence lighter than death. Not that I am complaining about this, but really, this whole thing amounts to a farce no matter whose side you’re on, if you ask me.

But then again again, the whole thing is a farce to me prima facie (as long as we’re spewing legal jargon everywhere) because I don’t accept the legitimacy of the Whitecloaks as an organization in the first place, and therefore I don’t accept that they had the right to level the charges in the first place. Funny how having a big fanatical army behind you changes the rules of what you can and can’t do…

But, whatever; thinking about the logic of this entire thing from a legal standpoint is enough to give me a migraine, so it’s probably better to just employ the Handwave of Legobabble™ and move on. The POINT is, ridiculous deferred judgment, yay!

Also, cool that the whole Wolfbrother thing is essentially out in the open for all his followers to know. Not that most of them with half a brain didn’t probably figure it out after Malden, but you know, confirmtion from the wolf’s mouth is always nice. This will hopefully help matters when seven million wolves show up at the Last Battle and are all “what, you weren’t expecting us?” to Team Light. Yup.

And… okay, there is really only one other thing about this chapter I feel the need to comment on, but I apparently needed to comment on it at great length, so that’s… something, I guess.

Right, so this is going to seem impossibly nitpicky to some people, while others will probably get exactly why this bothers me so much. But regardless of how everyone else feels, it felt to me like getting a literary splinter shoved in my metaphorical eye, so now everyone else can suck it up, because when I get unpleasant pointy things embedded in my sclera, the figurativeness of the sensation really does not prevent me from needing to complain about it. Loudly. Because if I feel literary pain SO WILL YOU. I’m giving that way. You’re welcome.

I will Esplain.

So, the Wheel of Time series, with very specific exceptions, has to my knowledge always employed a very unambiguous and unwavering style when it comes to perspective, which is, in writer jargon, a serial third person limited perspective. Meaning, the story as a whole is told from multiple characters’ points of view, but each individual section of the story is told from the point of view of one character and one character ONLY.

The only exceptions to this rule have been the cases in which the text switches to a third person omniscient perspective, and unless I’m sorely mistaken, that has only ever been for very particular bits: the traditional Chapter 1 opening text (The Wheel of Time turns, a wind rose in blah blah blah), and on occasion for the opening or closing coda and/or the quoting of prophecies or historical documents outside of the main text. Other than those very specific situations, in WOT the rule is that we are firmly lodged in a specific someone’s head every moment of the way, and while we are in that someone’s head we are only in that someone’s head.

So if we start a scene from Rand’s POV, for example, we stay with Rand’s POV; as long as that section lasts, we only get Rand’s views and thoughts and interpretations of whatever is going on at that juncture, and no one else’s. If he’s not privy to something happening while we are in his head, then neither are we. That’s what “limited perspective” means.

More importantly, when we do switch to someone else’s POV, say, Aviendha’s, that switch of perspective is always clearly demarcated by a white space break or chapter break, so there can be no confusion that we are now switching to another character’s point of view. In other words, you are never supposed to get Aviendha’s (or whoever’s) thoughts or internal dialogue dropped into the middle of a section that’s supposed to be from Rand’s (or whoever’s) perspective. There is no mixing of character perspectives! Which is as it should be, and something I have always deeply appreciated about WOT, how it uses that forcibly limited perspective to give us insights about the various characters from both the inside and the outside.

Except that’s precisely what didn’t happen in this chapter, and the discrepancy was so jarring to me, it about jumped out and smacked me in the face. I’m irate enough about this, in fact, to quote the offending passage in full:

Despite the troubles of the day, Faile found herself smiling. There was a devious complexity to Aiel interactions. What should have pleased Gaul regarding his gai’shain often seemed to frustrate him, and yet that which should have been insulting was met with amusement.

As Bain and Chiad retreated, Faile looked over the gathering army. Everyone was coming, not just captains or token forces. Most wouldn’t be able to watch the trial, but they needed to be there. In case.

Faile pulled up beside her husband. “Something worries you,” she said to him.

“The world holds its breath, Faile,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

He shook his head. “The Last Hunt is here. Rand is in danger. More than any of us, he is in danger. And I can’t go to him, not yet.”

“Perrin, you’re not making any sense. How can you know Rand is in danger?”

“I can see him. Any time I mention his name or think on him, a vision of him opens to my eyes.”

She blinked.

He turned toward her, his yellow eyes thoughtful. “I’m connected to him. He… pulls at me, you see. Anyway, I told myself I was going to be open with you about things like this.” He hesitated. “My armies here, they’re being herded, Faile. Like sheep being driven to the butcher.”

He suddenly remembered his vision from the wolf dream. Sheep running in front of wolves. He’d thought himself one of the wolves. But could he have been wrong?

Light! He had been wrong about that. He knew what it meant, now. “I can feel it on the wind,” he said. “The problem with gateways, it’s related to something happening in the wolf dream. Somebody wants us to be unable to escape this place.”


See what happened? We were in the middle of a Faile POV section, and suddenly for two random paragraphs we jumped into Perrin’s head! Worse, after this section there is a stretch of dialogue in which the POV character is not obvious, but then it becomes clear that we have jumped back into Faile’s head, and she carries the POV for the rest of the section. A POV which she should never have lost in the first place!

Ugh. No, no, no. I recognize that probably most people are not as hung up on the question of perspective as I am (perspective, I freely admit, is a big thing for me), but this is just sloppy. You’re talking about a narrative rule that has held for twelve books and literally hundreds of thousands of words, only to be broken here for, as far as I can tell, no good reason whatsoever.

No. Bad!

Okay, I am moving on now, but seriously I could not let that pass because that is, just, no. Would-be writers of the world? Don’t do that. Just don’t.

Edited to add: Peter Ahlstrom, lovely and talented personal assistant to Brandon Sanderson, has been kind enough to give us a heads-up in the comments below that this POV error was in fact noted by the editors, and subsequently corrected in the paperback edition. The corrected passage reads as follows:

...“I told myself I was going to be open with you about things like this.” He hesitated. “My armies here, they're being herded, Faile. Like sheep being driven to the butcher.

”I had a vision in the wolf dream. There were sheep running in front of wolves. I thought I was one of the wolves. But maybe I was wrong.

“Light! I was wrong about that! I know what it means, now. I can feel it on the wind,” he said.

Credit owed where credit is due, and alla that. Thank you for the info, Peter, and thank you to Team Jordan for fixing the problem.

And incidentally, in light of this, everyone who is still grumbling about how long the editorial process was/is taking for AMOL can seriously sit down and shut up, because this *points up* is the kind of stupid, easily avoidable stuff that happens when you rush that process. Let's not do that.

And, er. I kind of ranted about that longer than I planned to, so I think we’ll wrap up here, kiddies. Have a splentabular week, and I’ll see you next time!

Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
It should come as no surprise to most of you that have been here, But I really love Perrins arc. Sure he has had some issues, but who wouldn't with all the crap he goes through. I never had any problem with his story arc, didn't consider it a waste of words at all. He is really turned around and become the strongest of the tripod legs here( or at least very soon)
Deana Whitney
2. Braid_Tug
Aww... the girls are together again.

And Perrin can sleep at night without the WC hanging over his head.
or something like that.
3. CorDarei
TRVTH comes out as ok on spell checker because it's in all caps...

and / is a forward slash and \ is a backslash..

/thus endeth, the computer lesson of the day.
Rob Munnelly
4. RobMRobM
BT @2 - I'd be concerned if I had a Water Closet over my head too.

Francesco Paonessa
5. ErrantKnave
Leigh, I completely agree with you about limited perspective. Swerving between characters with omniscient narration can be distracting (and I've heard it can cause injury to the sclera). These distractions (along with typos and inconsistent details) are bad because they disturb the flow of the story. Mixing it up at this stage of the game is sloppy.

So, er, you have a legitimate beef.
Jeff Weston
6. JWezy
On the topic of POV shiftiness, I agree that it was a bit jarring. It seems to me that the reason it shifted was because the overall scene needed to be in Faile's (or at least not Perrin's) POV, but the thoughts he had for those two paragraphs are important.

It makes me wonder if there were originally two sections in this chapter, one of each POV, which were edited down to one without really completing the job.

This may be considered even more likely if the editing happened as a result of the one-book-to-three shift - these sections had been roughed out and targeted for separate books, but were brought together as the narrative line shifted.

Not clear why those thoughts couldn't have been part of the wolf dream section (in the previous chapter), with the verbal exposition as a repeat in Faile's POV. Other than the desire not to repeat.

Another interesting thing - here is a single instance of a main character being truthful and open about something, and not getting an immediate payout. The situation is certainly defused, but both the personal peril and the immediate crisis remain. The Dark One's grip on the world is tightening, indeed...
Rich Bennett
7. Neuralnet
I kind of figured the POV was a little messed up in this chapter because it was a passage that RJ wrote (his rough draft?) and they (Brandon and Harriet) didnt want to edit it... who knows. It didnt really bother me that much to be honest, but it definteily seemed out of place.
8. RoyanRannedos
Gawyn! Breaking POV! I Object!!

I think I commented on that POV switch to my wife when we first read it aloud. It's an oops, but at least it's a small oops while rushing to the end while slaying the hydra of multiple plot lines.

Also, on Perrin and the wolf dream, it's always interesting to see characters deal with the difference between perception and reality. The more characters have gone into T'A'R, the more glimpses we get into a different side of their personality. Perrin's such a considerate person by nature - it's no surprise he can study and destroy nightmares like nobody's business.

I just keep waiting for Hopper to say, "There is no spoon."
William Carter
9. wcarter
On the perspectives things: Brandon's always said RJ was the best in the buisness when it came to third limited.

I think at least some of that may have been because ToM was rushed to print. It has more spelling and grammar errors than one would expect, and I think given a few more weeks, that could have been caught and restructured or type spaced for greater clarity.

Moving right along.

Egwene and Suain: Egwene really didn't like Nyneave pointing out the whole Aes Sedi committing what was probably multiple diplomatic and international crimes by capturing and torturing Rand as something that could be layed at her feet even if only tangentally. I also find it interesting--not bad but interesting--that Suian thinks its somehow a problem that Nyneave acts as an advocate for Rand.

Gawyn: Gawyn is still a tool. And now he's apparantly an elitist prick.

The ironic thing is he doesn't even realise that if circumstances had only been slightly different Rand might have been born in the palace as Rand (or whatever Tigraine decided to name him) Mantear, and a prince of Andor behind Galad. Gawyn would would at best simply been a lord of one noble house among several.

Rand could probably still assert a claim to a title as a member of House Mantear if he could provide sufficient evidence to prove his mother was Tigraine.

Regardless he is the lawfully(ish) crowned King of Illian and therefore holds a higher title that Gawyn is even qualified for under Andoran tradition
Deana Whitney
10. Braid_Tug
Nynaeve gets points for brining up Rand’s beating.
Egwene loses some for thinking that Nynaeve’s taking Rand’s side “too often” is such a horrible thing.
Love the popemobile reference.

So glad Gwayn finally gets that stick out of his #$% about Rand. But still has one about being a Prince. Well every man has his pride.

Trial: plot line finished! Yea! You can really feel the forward momentum of the whole book in this one chapter.

POV mishap: only thing it gave us was a reminder of the wolf / sheep dream. Odd to beak a system of 13 books for a random moment of realization. Guess BS thought it would be too odd to have Perrin talk about the dream at this point.

@4 RobMRobM: check your shoutbox.
11. Susurrin
The POV faile...errr fail is pretty jarring. (see what I did there? Improper pronunciation of a character's name for the WIN!)

To me it looks like a placeholder bit. What I mean by that is its a bit of text that I am not sure how to word exactly the way I want, so I write out what I want to accomplish in the section from a different character's POV. Then while editing I can come back and fix it up later. That way I don't lose the flow of writing and get to keep going without getting stymied.

So...let me get this right...you don't like Gawyn? Up until now I suspected you might be on the fence about him. (Internet sarcasm is a valid form of expression). I agree though, he does come off like a huge (insert expletive of your choice).

That being said, what about Egwene? The whole exchange between her and Nynaeve is just as blockheaded. Oh the Taint's been cleansed? Well that makes me feel a little better, but boy that Rand sure needs to control HIS people. My people locked him in a box and tortured him? I suppose that MIGHT be my problem to clear up.

Even if Rand were crazy mcloonysauce he is still the prophesied savior of the world! Beyond that he was her childhood friend! Her attitude (and Suian's btw) are so stupidly ignorant (and heartless) that they have lost sight of what is truly important. I sincerely hope that Egwene gets a truth wammy knocked into her skull before the end, because she needs it just as much as Gawyn.

Perrin's awesome. Which is something I haven't been able to think for several books now.
David W
12. DavidW
I love the scene where Perrin is training in World of Dreams. In my opinion his jumping into nightmares and taking them out represents Perrin's role in the whole series. Not to mention, the strength that he displays in removing the nightmares single-handedly makes the moment later on where he stops balefire more believable.

And yes, POV switch is definitely jarring.

One thing that is missing from the whole trial is the question of what the Whitecloaks would have done to Perrin and Egwene even if they had come quietly. I don't think that it would have changed anything from the Whitecloaks' pont of view.
13. Aduiavas
I think there is another place, I think the beginning of SR, that we jump between three POV's in one paragraph... But then, I don't think anyone of them actually SAID anything, just thought stuff, during that time, so maybe it's OK...
14. Makloony
I like the way that Perrin is learning how to manipulate the wolf dream. I think it is a lot like how the super girls learned to channel. He is forcing himself to get better by leaps and bounds. I think another reason he becomes better then Egwene in the world of dreams is because he does not have channeling as a back up. This really shows later when they meet up in the world of dreams during the battle with Mesaana.
Zack Twigg
15. zackattack
Both of these chapters seemed sort of clumsily written to me. In addition to the above-mentioned perspective shifts, Perrin's dream sequence feels oddly placed in between the Egwene and Gawyn sections. The trial is ridiculous on many levels. (Where did Galad get a dress fit for a queen?)

On the bright side it’s relatively (for WOT) expedient plot advancement for two of my least favorite characters (Perrin and Gawyn), so huzzah. One hopes that the delays in publishing AMOL will help to avoid this sort of thing in the final book. If so, it will be well worth the wait. Onward to the Last Battle!
Marcus W
16. toryx
Re: Perrin, not much to say about his section, except that I don’t know if I could do that, see a thing and convince myself it wasn’t there.
That's actually a trick for lucid dreaming. As a lucid dreamer, I do it pretty much all the time. It's really damned hard to do but if you stick with it, it gives you a great deal of freedom to do as you please within a dream. Fun stuff.

Anyway, the whole changed perspective thing drove me crazy too. This isn't the only time it happens, as I recall, but it really messes with my head as a reader and I hates it.
john mullen
17. johntheirishmongol
Suian thinking Ny is too much on Rand's side is really the wrong kind of thinking. She should be looking for ways to get them all together, which was some of the point of getting it out there.

Gawyn is such an idiot that he's a character that has to die. My crazy theory on this is that he realizes what an idiot he is just in time to jump in front of Fains dagger, to save Rand.

I think the trial was misguided, but there was no easy solution out of it.

I'm still kinda meh on Perrin still. The weapon thing is very cool but that is about all. Bring the wolves in and that will be great.
You know what? I never noticed this before having read over this particular book 4 times completely and 6 if you count randomly grazing over this or that and once more as I follow through with you Leigh.

But now that I know.... I'm actually rather upset about it. Some things should never change. And one such as this, most certainly should not changed. Its all got me thinking that this may not be the first time and maybe we need to go back and check to find more discrepancies of this strain.

Verrrrry sloppy! And shouldn't Team Jordan have this in the back of their mind during the editing process? It ain't just Brandon, who wrote it. It was clearly a mistake and can see how it could be made. But the editors are really the ones who should get the whip because that's, you know..... Their Job!

I'm whicha, Leigh! Not that you'd care about my particular opinion. But coming from a guy who disagrees with just about every criticism you put forth, well... It should say something about the depth of this snafu.

Marty Beck
19. martytargaryen
Yeah, Leigh, thanks for pointing out the POV shift. I never noticed before, in reading or listening... Glad you did though, b/c that stuff is important to me too.

I was going to point out that there are a handful of one-sentence chapter-enders throughout the series that go all Omni, but I think they fall under your exceptions, if I'm not mistaken.
Kimani Rogers
20. KiManiak
Thanks again, Leigh!

I really do not intend to generate Walls of Text in my first impressions on Leigh’s commentary all of the time. Oh well, I’m sure it’s no big surprise to you guys by now…

Wow, 2 potential triggering topics: Egwene’s view of her and Rand’s respective responsibilities for their subordinates’ actions; and Gawyn’s blind belief of Rand’s guilt in Morgase’s death, and thirst for vengeance vs Elayne’s (yes, Elayne’s) rational and evidence-supported rebuttal of his belief and desire.

Egwene: First, I’m not even going to make a big stink about her deciding to place herself in harms way. Egwene is the best person (from the Tower) for the job, and she has a plan and credible backup (different from Elayne and her stupid, spur of the moment, jump-into-a-situation-and-hope-for-the-best, don’t-ever-include-backup type actions). Actually, seeking outside help (a la the dreamwalking Wise Ones) was very tactically sound. Egwene's opponents wouldn’t even suspect them; so the Wise Ones were a good Ace-in-the Hole.

My issue (which, maybe, I’ll go into more detail on a separate post because otherwise this post would possibly double in length) was with how Egwene completely blamed Rand for the Ashaman’s actions, yet tried to completely sidestep the Amyrlin’s responsibility for the actions of the Aes Sedai. Egwene is the Amyrlin; she can’t expect to receive the respect that she feels the office has earned without also accepting the responsibility for actions that the office has equally earned. The buck should stop with her.

Yet, Egwene didn’t own up to it. Like a child. That’s what continues to bug me about Egwene (As I’ve voiced before. “Hello Bela; yes I will flog you some more”). She continues to treat her encounters with Rand like they were still kids in Two Rivers.

And then Siuan thinks that Nynaeve isn’t viewing this objectively? Hah! That’s ironic. A nice touch by Team Jordan for having Siuan view Nynaeve, and the situation, in that way. Continuing to show the ongoing problem with the Aes Sedai as a whole.

Gawyn: I agree with Leigh’s sentiment regarding Gawyn’s thoughts and actions pertaining to Rand, here. I definitely respect Team Jordan for identifying that the root of the majority of Gawyn’s issues with Rand were based more on elitism and a perceived superiority. That seems incredibly likely. Although I still see Gawyn’s new “indifference” to Rand as weak and kind of pathetic, I admit to some anticipation in seeing Gawyn’s response when he finds out that Rand is Gawyn’s half-brother’s half brother. Team Jordan, please let that scene be shown on-screen.

Perrin: I think it was fine to include some of his training in T’A’R. He couldn’t (or maybe the more applicable word is “shouldn’t”) just go from a novice to someone who can “will away” balefire in T’A’R without us seeing some of the progression.

Speaking of progression’s in Perrin’s character, it’s also nice to see him accepting the fact that he’s not “just a blacksmith,” and moving towards accepting the burden of leadership. Just like the training in T’A’R adds more validity to the White Tower battle scene in a few chapters, his realization here adds validity to the Mjolnir-forging scene (and aftermath) in a few chapters.

Perrin’s Trial: Yeah, I didn’t really care all that much about it, I just wanted it to be done with. So, yay, it’s over. Anyway, I respect that Perrin was willing to accept judgment as long as it came after the last battle. And, I kind of liked that Galad chose to delay pronouncing that judgment (and the manner in which Galad kind of did it; who says Galad doesn’t have a sense of humor? Even if Leigh does think its kind of “bitchy.”)

As for Leigh’s issue with the perspectives and POV’s? Well, good catch on her part. I’m sorry it bugged her. It may have bugged me on my first read, but it’s definitely not something that made that lasting of an impression on me. I just hope the BWS critics don’t make too big of a stink of it in the comments.

Whatever. To each, their own.
Kimani Rogers
21. KiManiak
CorDarei@3 – Thanks for the computer lessons :-)

JWezy@6 – Good point about how, this time, being open and communicative did not produce an immediate reward. But, maybe this was the most organic time for Perrin to admit to his special abilities to his followers, and Team Jordan went with it. Plus, this sets the foundation for his followers to not question too much when Perrin enters the Dream later that night, in order to eliminate the mechanism that was keeping his Ashaman from opening gateways.

wcarter@9 – I think it is slightly ironic that Gawyn isn’t aware that his elitist problem is, in reality, not applicable to Rand. Rand is the son of a Queen (and of a Clan Chief too, although that doesn’t really matter as far as Aiel are concerned). As for his claim regarding House Mantear, I’ve always believed that if he were to inform the relevant parties of his true parentage, he would most likely renounce his claim to House Mantear, while possibly still expressing a desire for some type of informal connection. But this is how it unfolds in my head; I’m really curious to see if Team Jordan addresses any of this in AMoL.

Susurrin@11 – I think Leigh’s feeling about Gawyn and Egwene have both been clearly demonstrated several times (in this book alone) :-) I’m not surprised about her treatment of either in this post.

john@17 – Hah! I laughed at your “crazy theory” for Gawyn! Something tells me that a lot of WoT fandom would be fine with that…
Vincent Lane
22. Aegnor
"Gawyn thinks she is being irrational."

Oh Gawyn, Gawyn, Gawyn. That is the biggest black hole in the universe calling the kettle black.
Peter Ahlstrom
23. PeterAhlstrom
The POV error is due to revision issues—either the scene was originally in Perrin's POV and Brandon rewrote it into Faile's and messed up in that bit, or there was originally a scene break to switch POVs and this was done away with but some of the POV got left in accidentally. In either case, I thought that Maria had gotten this error scrubbed for the paperback, but I don't know if that for sure happened.

EDIT: Yep. Page 765 of the paperback.
...I told myself I was going to be open with you about things like this." He hesitated. "My armies here, they're being herded, Faile. Like sheep being driven to the butcher.
"I had a vision in the wolf dream. There were sheep running in front of wolves. I thought I was one of the wolves. But maybe I was wrong.
"Light! I was wrong about that! I know what it means, now. I can feel it on the wind," he said.
Don Barkauskas
24. bad_platypus
Re: Captain Kirk on the away team

In general, I completely agree with the idiocy of having the Captain go on every away mission. But in this particular case, I think Egwene is right. She is far and away the best in the Tower in Tel'aran'rhiod, and without her the mission is almost certain to fail. Since the mission is critical to the survival of the Tower, in my view she is obligated to put herself in harm's way.

As an exercise, compare and contrast this with the harbor chain incident in CoT. I think it was probably correct for her to go in that case as well, but it's certainly more debatable.

Well, after previewing I see KiManiak beat me to it, so I guess that part was a "me, too" post.

As for Egwene's culpability for the AS versus Rand's for the Ashaman, Rand set up the Ashaman and then left someone else in charge, but ultimately they were his responsibility. The AS, on the other hand, were Elaida's responsibility at the time, not Egwene's. It would be like blaming Obama for Bush's policies, or if Romney were to win in November, holding him responsible for Obama's policies. I really don't see the parallel between Rand and Egwene in this case.

As Peter points out, the POV error was most likely an oversight. It's my understanding that one of the reasons for setting the release date of AMoL so far out is to make sure that there's enough time to do the editing, unlike ToM which was rushed somewhat.

Edit: Hmmm, that's weird. When I previewed this, there was a comment from PeterAhlstrom @23 that's not showing up now.
25. Kadere
This PoV failure, along with a handful of other jarringly poorly written scenes and character flaws is why I can't like ToM as much as I so despreatly want to. I chalk it all up to Team Jordan not having a moment to breath during the editing process which was so hella rushed even Harriet was so badly embarassed that they're taking extra extra time with AMoL which is just as it should be. Cause if I get a bunch of PoV failures in AMoL I'll just cry, and not because my favorite characters are dying. This entire book is a testament to the importance of editing.
Peter Ahlstrom
26. PeterAhlstrom
Hey, I had posted a comment about the POV thing, and then just now edited it, and the comment seems to be gone. So I'm confused. Anyway, this was a revision error due to scene splicing or something like that, and Maria fixed it in the paperback. Page 765:
“My armies here, they’re being herded, Faile. Like sheep being driven to the butcher.
"I had a vision in the wolf dream. There were sheep running in front of wolves. I thought I was one of the wolves. But maybe I was wrong?
"Light! I was wrong about that! I know what it means, now. I can feel it on the wind,” he said.
William Carter
27. wcarter
Hate to post again so soon (I seem to be making a habit of it the last couple of weeks)

But I forgot my spoull on Galad: I'm very suspicious of Galads sentencing of Perrin with his "No, I didn't." Line. Methinks this means that 1. He doesn't know what to do about the situation yet himself, and 2. His sentence will (probaby) be something like "I sentence you to a lifetime of exile from Amadicia/any lands officially held by the Children on pain of death."
28. TheAndyman
Leigh! I totally agree with you about the absolute wtfness of the narrative shift! I remember when I hit that section the first part I was so absolutely baffled, I re-read the section like 12 times trying to figure out what I was missing, only to come to the same conclusion: it was a sloppy, sloppy mistake. I don't blame Sanderson as much as I blame his editor! HELLO MAJOR ERROR HERE HOW DID THAT MAKE IT TO THE SHELVES?!
Sanctume Spiritstone
29. Sanctume
Gawyn is just truly genuine with himself, and his ego just clashes with Eg's larger ego.
30. Susurrin
Where did Galad get a dress fit for a queen?)
Good point. But Galad is described as being very pretty soooo maybe Galad is the first official WOT crossdresser?????
Kimani Rogers
31. KiManiak
Bad_platypus@24 – re: Egwene comparisons to Captain Kirk – No worries about who said what first. Lord knows that I often am echoing someone else’s comments. :-)

As for your comparison between The Dragon’s responsibilities versus the Amyrlin’s responsibilities: I have to disagree with your analogy. If the United States were to have been found guilty of attempting to kidnap and torture a prominent figure, then the United States would be held accountable. The President of the United States would be expected to issue an apology (at the least), regardless of whether that particular president were in office at the time of the action. That is comparable to the White Tower and it's Executive Officer (also elected, btw): the Amyrlin.
(And actually, I believe there are numerous examples of new regimes apologizing for, and providing restitution because of, the actions of previous regimes in our world).

See, it’s the office of the Amyrlin that is culpable for the actions of those Aes Sedai, just like it is the office of the head of all Ashaman (in this case, the Dragon Reborn) that is responsible for the Ashaman bonding the Aes Sedai (we can ignore for the time being the fact that the Ashaman bonded the Aes Sedai in self defense while the Aes Sedai were sent to sever them from the Power and then murder them).

Rand understood that. That’s why he tried to make amends by balancing out who was bonded to who. Egwene appears to want to refuse that responsibility.

Egwene wants the benefits of the office of the Amyrlin (remember, she screamed at Rand for daring to turn his back on “the Amyrlin Seat,” not just on her, in Chapter 3)? Fine. She also must inherit and accept the responsibilities (and existing burdens) of that office.
32. Susurrin
The AS, on the other hand, were Elaida's responsibility at the time, not Egwene's. It would be like blaming Obama for Bush's policies, or if Romney were to win in November, holding him responsible for Obama's policies. I really don't see the parallel between Rand and Egwene in this case.
Actually, as the new Amyrlin it falls to Eg to acknowledge what Elaida did and NOT sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn't happen. She does not want to do this because it would potentially hurt the Tower's reputation to know that the Dragon Reborn had been treated in such a manner.

At any rate, Egwene should be putting the tower behind Rand to support him in the Last Battle (and if she were smart making contingency plans for after the fact should he survive). Instead she feels that only the Tower can guide him successfully and that he is just a woolheaded farmboy that must have HER guidance.
33. Alex F
Reading that, a humorous picture popped into my head of Nynaeve, Cads, Siuan, & Egwene sitting around discussing Leigh's writing and whether or not spanking is ever appropriate. Just me? Ok...

Agreed #9 - I think the viewpoint shift was a "bug." Anyone know if Brandon ever commented on this section specifically?
Jeff Weston
34. JWezy
PeterAhlstron@23,26: Sure, but people who haunt the re-read and complain to high heaven about editing errors are not the sort of people who would have waited for the paperback. ;-)

Which covers me pretty well, I guess. I have paper copies of 1-7 and hardbound of the rest, because I just couldn't wait. Sometimes, patience is a virtue.
michael gaston
35. Ashenladoka
I'm glad KiManiak pointed out the most important part on the whole Rand vs Egwene on the Asha/AS bonding. Considering the AS were clearly going to violate Tower law / custom and gentle then kill the Asha on the spot I'd say the AS got exactly what they deserve and Rand allowing the bonding was a bunch of BS. I'd ask this of everyone here especially the Egwene can do no wrong camp. If someone was coming to kill your family and your uncle stopped them, would you punish your nephews and nieces? Maybe some of the Asha don't see it as punishment but Rand clearly meant it as such and "atonement" for the Asha protecting themselves. Randd should have been smacked immediately by his guys, Min and Cads for that. The AS under Eliada were doing the exact same thing that got them in trouble before, "the Vileness" and last time several Sitters for the Red were exiled. But again Egwene shows her childisness for not owning this especially after trying to tie Rand to the Asha actions...blind hypocrisy again.
Don't worry Egwene your childhood friend enjoyed the beatings he received at the hands of your sisters that I doubt you will ever acknowledge publically or even in the Tower or call into account anyone responsible. I'm sure several of those same sisters are still in the Tower with you or at least a Sitter or two will see you tonight.
And Siuan!!! I couldn't even believe she thought that about Nye! I just hope they don't ruin Nye before she leaves again especially after I actually started liking her. Damn the WT is going to have a far fall before the end. Maybe not unjustified but definitely needs to happen. If you want respect you should give it and Egwene surely won't unless an a'dam is around her neck.
36. Tenesmus
About that POV shift thingy, I get it, and it was a bit jarring for me also, but if you look back at some of the other chapters in this book there are multiple instances where a chapter switches POVs. I think what happened here probably was a result of the editing process. Brandon likely wrote this chapter like the others with mulit-POVs and then it got edited down and this little shifting snippet didn't get picked up. I'll forgive them, they were trying to get the book out and TOM is a monster of a book.
Nadine L.
37. travyl
@23. Peter Ahlstrom
Thanks for the info, and for providing the correction. Strangely enough the error wasn't corrected for the ebook, although several other mistakes were.

About Gawyn: I still cut him more slack than most commenters. At least Gawyn admits his faults - that's a start, not everybody would to that. And I really was on his side, when he stubornly refused to run back to Egwene after "her" letter.

@27. wcarter: I liked it that Galad didn't give the sentence. Rather than him not having decided, I thought, that Perrin really should only know the judgement, once he has commited to abide by it. (is that english?)
Chin Bawambi
38. bawambi
Something that perhaps I only noticed with the Siuan Eggs Nyn interaction is it shows both my main issue with Eggs as a person and her MarySueness at the same time. She is already Mother in full here proving her MarySueness by Siuan's comment.

1) Siuan as many years of former Amyrlin has a mindset of Tower before all and therefore naturally thinks Nyn has to be corrected. Quite natural and in character.
2) Egwene already thinks like this - how is this possible?

Because she is the perfection of leadership and ...

Bela beating Bawambi here - She has no personal loyalty to her kinfolk. Eggs doesn't even consider the opinion of a close friend from her small hometown as a possible alternate viewpoint.
This is where I think the small influences of Fain/Halima have affected her.

39. joe heron
Just had a theory about EGG-head

...maybe she was written to be disliked? sort of like how Cad pretty much is... kind of like a foreSHADOWing of things to come of the future? This way, us readers would have a more complex/conflicted feeling when cheering for team light?

oh a side note... has nyv checked her for compulsion? oh wait, she was like this before halima touched her.
40. Freelancer
Air Force One, eh?

Serious training. Or, being raised by a fireman, which amounts to the same thing by the time you're 13.

Much more to say about Gawyn later, but Leigh, your final words on him are the most salient:
"So… yay? For realism? I guess?"
RE: Egwene

Ahh, no beam in her eye, nosirree:
It is not a time to hold back any of our tools, no matter how valuable.
And here I'm quoting the Commentary, which almost immediately follows Egwene's justification for permitting herself to be endangered:
Nynaeve begins to suggest that perhaps she should ask Rand for help too, but Egwene tells her it is a Tower matter, and they will manage it.
At the moment, Egwene's POV already shows that she's not happy with the extent of Nynaeve's loyalty to Rand. Now she dismisses a suggestion about using the best tool in the drawer, and she papers over it as 'what goes in the Tower stays in the Tower', when it's more about sour grapes. I'm not an Egwene hater, and I disagree with most descriptions of her actions as megalomania or in other ways matching those of Elaida for power-hunger. This is neither. It is Egwene's nature, that whatever group she is part of is "the group", outsiders need not bother us. It doesn't matter if the group assignment she is working from is Women, Emond's Fielders, Wise Ones, Aes Sedai, Channelers in General, etc., she has a protective, almost isolationist attitude toward it, and when Rand is involved, that goes double.

This isn't new, she has ever been thus, going all the way back to being the best Water Carrier at the age of nine. But here, it is shown as petty and potentially counterproductive. Nynaeve could go fetch Rand and possibly make short work of Mesaana with his help: She was there for the fight with Rahvin, she knows that Rand can walk T'a'R at will, and in the flesh. Egwene also knew this after the fact, but instead, immediately after saying the Tower must use every tool at its disposal for this fight, she's like "Nah, we got this".

One more thing about Egwene here. How is it that the same person who says this:
Siuan comments that he has changed, though, and that the man who came to the Tower doesn’t seem like the kind of man who could do what he did to Natrin’s Barrow. Egwene agrees, and opines that the man she saw wouldn’t have needed to do it at all, as “those inside would just follow him.”
not want to 'just follow him', but defy him, with arms if necessary? If Rand in his new state wouldn't have had to destroy Natrin's Barrow, maybe he would be able to break the Seals and still win. Hello? Anyone? Bueller?

Peter @23

Always good to know that Team Jordan is lurking. Thanks for letting Leigh know that it was truly an editing slip which has been dealt with. Wouldn't want her vision permanently impared.

Edited for continuity, thanks Wetlandernw @56
41. Shazzbatt
No one raised an eyebrow about using the Horn of Valere? I would have thought Faile would have at the very least as a Hunter of the Horn blurted out, "You had it all this time and never told me?"
42. Rand al'Todd
Gawyn: More head-desk. He has just reached a number of epiphanies – about Rand, about his sister, about his girlfriend, AND about the Bloodknives. Part of those epiphanies is that he has allowed his PRIDE and PREJUDICES to cause problems. And suddenly, just because of a snottily written letter demanding he return, HE AGAINT ALLOWS HIS PRIDE TO IMPACT HIS TRUE LOVE’S SAFETY.

The boy (and here he proves beyond all doubt that he is still just a boy – not a man) is so offended that he will INTENTIONALLY risk Egwene’s life. I don’t have Storm in front of me so I’m not sure if Gawyn was still with Gareth and Siuan when they had their encounter with a Bloodknife. I believe that there was some debate earlier in the re-read as to just who, if anyone, was aware of it. Regardless, Gawyn now knows that at least one was still in the Tower days or weeks after the attack, and he has NO reason to assume that the one he had already killed was the only one.

So, being the only one around who is in position to recognize the threat, he has a snit and sends back a uselessly cryptic reply to the summons. FULLY KNOWING HIS TRUE LOVE IS UNPREPARED AND UNPROTECTED AGAINST THIS KIND OF ATTACK.

No wonder so many readers don’t like Gawyn. He is not just a dummy, even while ‘improving’ he is so messed up that even while he is thinking about how his pride has been a problem, he will STILL allow it to govern his actions to the detriment of his friends (prospective lover).
43. AndrewB
MaKloony @14 wrote: "I think another reason he becomes better then Egwene in the world of dreams is because he does not have channeling as a back up. This really shows later when they meet up in the world of dreams during the battle with Mesaana."

In general, I agree. However, not with respect to his deflecting balefire. Perrin's advantage re the balefire is that he did not know what it was. From a channeler's perspective in WoT, it is the ultimate killing weapon. Channelers believe that nothing can stop balefire. No shield or any other type of weave. To Perrin, it was a different type of fire: nothing more or nothing less. Perrin is not in awe of fire. He may respect its power. However, it is a form of energy that can be harnessed. IMO, he sees the same thing with respect to balefire.

Egwene, on the other hand, has a preconceived notion of what the destructive force of balefire. I do not believe she could produce a weave that could stop balefire. (The Foresaken also have this preconceived notion. Recall in TFOH (IIRC), that one of the Forsaken thought that at the first sign of balefire, he/she would immediately Travel away.) Thus, it would never occur to Egwene that she can alter a blast of balefire like Perrin did.

It is this realization that I beleive allowed Egwene to realize that in the Wolrd of Dreams, something like the adam is not real. It only is real if the "victim" accepts it as real.

(I understand that this might be more appropriate to post when we get to that battle. However, I was afraid that if I waited, I would forget to make this point. Or worse, not have the time to post this musing.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
44. Rand al'Todd
Freelancer @40 essentially made the same comment about Egwene as I did about Gawyn: Even while claiming to see the error of their ways, they then IMMEDIATELY repeat the same errors.

We have noted before how Team Jordan has placed scenes and chapters in juxtaposition to either compare or contrast the actions of characters. I think this is another case.
Tyler Durden
45. Balance
Finally a Gawyn chapter I enjoy. Don’t kill me. I have a sister that is very close to my age. I love her and respect her very much. This chapter reminds me of my interactions with her. The part where she gets him to row her out to the pond is especially well done. The banter, the barbs, you can feel Gawyn and Elayne’s bond very well in this chapter. I also agree with Team Jordan that the only one who could get Gawyn to turn in his “Rand hating card” would be her. So let’s give props where props are do. Good job Elayne. She gave that bitch some common sense. Bitches love common sense.

I also found the narrative POV switch a bit jarring. Bad miss by Brandon and Harriet. But this chapter does start the flow of interactions between Perrin and Galad (their last exchange doesn't come across as too bitchy to me, it's jock style ribbing). I actually like where their relationship is going.

Edit@16 toryx. I too enjoy a bit of the lucid. The trick is to never change anything too far beyaond what is starts off as... too much awareness, will wake you up. And always Believe you can fly, start to doubt, and you will fall.
michael gaston
46. Ashenladoka

I think Faile already knows about the horn from Perrins mouth getting away from him during one of their shouting matches.
Jay Dauro
47. J.Dauro
Shazzbatt @ 41

Faile (Zarine) has know about the horn since TDR, right after their encounter with the darkhounds.
... Moiraine said. “Or perhaps Mat. Remember that he is ta’veren also, and he blew the Horn of Valere.”
Zarine made a strangled sound. “He blew it? Someone has found it already?”
The Dragon Reborn - 44

However the others there did not know. But after hearing a man reveal he can communicate with wolves, maybe they were in a bit of shock.
Leigh Butler
48. leighdb
PeterAhlstrom @ 23:

Thank you for the info! I am delighted that the error was noticed and corrected. I will add a note to that effect in the main post.
49. Twedge
I only got halfway through the comments, so I hope noone else pointed this out, but...

I agree that the PoV mishap was jarring, but didn't RJ switch the PoV in the same chapter back when the super girls were leaving Ebou Dar to use the bowl of winds. Aveinda feels like someone's watching her, and then we switch to seeing Moridin's PoV watching her unravel the Gateway. Not exactly the same thing, but...
William Carter
50. wcarter
You're right in that there are several chapters where POVs switch without switching chapters, sometimes more than once.
But before there was alway somekind of visual que a black space between paragraphs, a spoked wheel, etc.
This time the transition in both the prose and the physical layout of the text itself was too seemless and create reader confusion as to whose mind we were in. Again, Peter Ahlstrom pointed out it was fixed in the paperback version.
Leigh Butler
51. leighdb
Twedge @ 49:

Sorry, but you are incorrect. I happened to have TPOD easy to hand when I saw your comment, and just for kicks I checked.

Chapter 1 is entirely from Aviendha's POV, after the traditional wind opening bit is done. Chapter 2 starts with an Elayne POV, then switches to the Moridin POV you were probably thinking of, and ends with a POV from the gholam, but all three POV switches are clearly demarcated with white space breaks.
52. thrasymachus2012
I disagree with Morgase's ruling. Perrin didn't kill those men in retribution, but in defense. The killing of the wolves was a present and ongoing occurrence. Morgase effectively ruled the wolves to be Perrin's livestock, which he would presumably own. Fine, but let's say they were sheep, instead of wolves, and Perrin was driving them to market and the Whitecloaks started killing them. Surely it would be allowable under Andoran law to use lethal force to preserve one's property from a present unlawful threat. And Morgase never disputed that the Whitecloaks presence and actions were technically unlawful.
53. Kainos
This is the chapter were I see that Egwene has lost perspective on what is happening in the world. When she says that one of the Foresaken is a tower problem. That is just wrong. It is a world problem. She is starting to put the White Tower over everything which is what led to the one of the major problems in Randland. AS thinking that the world revolves around them and that no one else is as important.
@40 Hahaaaaa! Bueller. Love that guy!

Jay Dauro
55. J.Dauro

As I understand it, it's not legal in most US States to use leathal force in defense of property. Lethal force is allowed when it is in defense of life.

Perrin could have tried that defense. The Children of the Light are known to "try" people without jurisdiction, and they are known to use torture. Perrin is aware that he has yellow eyes, and this may be enough for the WC to brand him as shadowspawn (which is demonstrated.) And the WC lay it out pretty clearly.
“If you can understand human speech, come down and surrender. You’ll not be harmed if you walk in the Light. If you don’t surrender, you will all be killed. You have one minute.”
The Eye of the World - 30

However, being Perrin, he just told the truth. And I believe he outlines his motivations well.

The wolves have started killing WC as they are being hunted.

As Perrin emerges to the Whitecloaks call, we see that the WC are already hostile to him. When one threatens Perrin, Hopper kills the WC.
Pain filled Perrin, and he screamed, a wordless scream that had something of a wolf’s cry in it. Without thinking he leaped forward, still screaming. All thought was gone. The horsemen had bunched too much to be able to use their lances, and the axe was a feather in his hands, one huge wolf’s tooth of steel. Something crashed into his head, and as he fell, he did not know if it was Hopper or himself who died.
The Eye of the World - 30

Yes, Morgase does know enough of the Children to surmise what has happened. But Perrin did not present that defense.
Alice Arneson
56. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @ 10 – It wasn’t Egwene here who thought that Nynaeve took Rand’s side too often; that was Siuan. Which is not to say that Egwene doesn’t think so, but she’s not shown as thinking it.

Sussurrin @11 – There is, however, a distinct difference between Rand’s responsibility for the actions of the Asha’man and Egwene’s responsibility for the Aes Sedai, particularly in this context. Elaida was the head of the WT at the time of the incident mentioned and the one who gave the orders and sent the embassy that captured Rand. At that time, Egwene had been Amyrlin of the Salidar contingent for a whole 22 days, and knew nothing of what the Tower was up to. As the new Amyrlin of the re-united Tower, she now has to take on responsibility for the mess left by her predecessor and all the foolish actions done on the previous watch, and she acknowledges that. The difference is that Rand created the Black Tower, and it exists solely on his authority. The fact that he gave temporary leadership to the most experienced man he could find (who turns out to be a Darkfriend – oops!) and then completely failed to maintain any real contact with or control over that leadership… that’s a difference. It may have been Taim’s orders, but his authority came from Rand.

And no, neither the fact that Rand is the designated savior of the world, nor the fact that he was her childhood friend and sweetheart, changes the fact that he is responsible for his own actions and the actions of those whose authority derives from him.

KiManiak @20 – That goes for you to. ;p

But you remind me… I, too, liked the way Galad decided not to pronounce the sentence. Then again, my liking is probably colored by the knowledge of what happens when he does pronounce it. :)

Aegnor @22 – LOL! The soot, it does fly up in here…

PeterAhlstrom @23 – Hmmm. On the one hand I’m glad it’s corrected; on the other hand, I think it reads better the way it was originally – except for the POV-switch issue. Some people are just never satisfied… Thanks for the info, anyway.

bad_platypus @24 – Well, you just said pretty much what I was planning to say about Egwene, both re: the “away mission” question and the culpability. Since I already wrote about the culpability bit, I’ll leave it, but I’ll just add a note on the away mission.
“In this case, I am not just the leader of the Aes Sedai, I am a tool that the White Tower must use.”
So much for megalomania. The girl has no desire to grab personal power – she has a total desire to a) protect the WT from those who would tear it apart and b) make sure it’s as ready as it can be (all things considered) for the Last Battle. She knows that not only is she the best tool, she’s also the best bait. While it is true that she’s the best choice they have for Amyrlin, there are others who would be able to do a decent job should she fail here; I have no doubt they would do well, especially in light of her sacrifice (if she failed). However, if she doesn’t use herself here (both as tool and as bait) the plan probably will fail because there is not one person who can do this nearly as well as she can. And if this plan fails, they’ve sacrificed their best chance against Mesaana and the BA by playing it safe. I’m betting she doesn’t even bother to think of it as “heroic sacrifice” or any such drivel; she’s totally pragmatic about this, as about everything else (including requiring Nynaeve to call her Mother). It’s not about her at all – it’s about what the White Tower needs, and what the Amyrlin (and every Aes Sedai) must do to serve that need – and that is all about being ready for Tarmon Gaidon.

Them’s my sediments, anyway.

Kadere @25 – Would it be utterly snarky to just mention that your post is also a testament to the importance of editing? ;) I’m sorry, I just had to say it…. The temptation was too much for me.

wcarter @27 – I agree with you that Galad probably didn’t know what to do with it – but when you get to Chapter 41, you see the conclusion he comes to. And it’s a much more just sentence than what you suspected.

Alex F @33 – LOL! Now there’s a visual… :)

bawambi @38 – Again, it’s not Egwene that’s thinking Nynaeve needs to be corrected in this scene…

Freelancer @40 – You’re getting your “she”s confused. Or confusing, at any rate:
She was there for the fight with Rahvin, she knows that Rand can walk T'a'R at will, and in the flesh. Instead, immediately after saying the Tower must use every tool at its disposal for this fight, she's like "Nah, we got this".
The “she” in the first sentence had better be Nynaeve, since Egwene was down for the count after Lanfear tried to kill her at the time Rand confronted Rahvin. But the “she” in the second sentence is clearly Egwene, since you’re paraphrasing the chapter at hand.

And… just how much does Egwene know about Rand’s ability in TAR? Not much, I’m thinking; Nynaeve is the only one who’s seen him there in action (against Rahvin), and given the standard level of communication in WoT, I’m not sure how much of that she told Egwene. No, I’m not taking the time right now to scrounge through the books looking for evidence of Nynaeve telling Egwene about that particular event. However, since they were at opposite ends of the continent at the time, and Egwene was barred from TAR for more than 50 days, there was no chance to talk about it until, quite probably, so much else had happened that Nynaeve didn’t even think to tell Egwene about it. If she did (and by all means, someone please look it up and show me that she did!), how much did she tell about his skill in TAR vs. the battle itself?

Frankly, I don’t quite see what Rand was going to do to help them anyway. Which doesn’t justify their not asking, if you’re inclined to think they should have, but I still don’t think Egwene has a lot of reason to do so.

Also… Not quite sure how “those inside would just follow him” relates to “be able to break the Seals and still win.” One is a matter of his personal effect on people – that they want to do what he wants – and the other is a matter of confronting the Dark One. Unless you’re suggesting that Rand in his current state would influence the DO to follow him?
Jay Dauro
57. J.Dauro

First, my typing skills are not always great, especially after my trip today, but when I type your handle, look up and see Wetlanfear, I should probably stop. However, I have never been good at recognizing omens.

I did find it amusing that just after Egwene agrees to ask the Aiel Dreamwalkers for help, she rejects a suggestion to ask Rand for help with
“This is a matter of the Tower, Nynaeve,” Egwene said. “We will manage it.”
Just mention to the Wise Ones that they are part of the Tower, and see the fireworks.

And she doesn't even let Nyneave make the suggestion, as soon as she hears Rand's name she cuts Nyneave off.
58. Kevin S.
I cherish these reviews! Honestly since picking up the series two years ago and reading back to back five time, i just couldn't do another one in prep for AMOL. So thanks so much Leigh for helping my wheel addiction continue in waiting for the last book. That said red veils of the blight coming from shara makes sense. why else would Moraidin calm it right down before the big tadoo? Don't let the anti Aiel get gobbled up by spookies! Made sense in ma brain. Pardon spelling and such on the bus taken by a fancy.
Sandy Brewer
59. ShaggyBella
@42 Rand Al Todd

Re: Gawyn's warning to Egwene;
He not only doesn't go to help Ewgene, he actually puts her in danger by telling her to light more lamps. I guess Silviana's letter really p***ed him off. But I would not like the tone of the letter either. He can do no right in those women's eyes. Stay or go, he cannot satisfy the AS.
“And tell her,” he added after a moment’s thought, “that the assassin is Seanchan, and carries a special ter’angreal that makes him difficult to see in shadows. Best to keep extra lights burning. The other murders were tests to gauge our defenses. She is the true target.
Robert Crawley
60. Alphaleonis
In the debate on the "blame game" this: What the WT did to Rand was wrong - Kidnapping, torture. What the BT did to the invading AS was not wrong - neutralizing an invading force intent on murdering you is in no way wrong. Hence there is no "blame" to trace backwards from Taim to Rand.

It doesn't matter if Taim is a DF or not. Self defense is not wrong. Aggressive action against another who is not threatening you is wrong. Since I presume Eg knows what the AS who were sent to the BT intended to do, how can she impute any "wrong" to what the BT did to them? And then to blame Rand, the victim of the kidnapping and torture?
61. Twedge
wcarter @ 49 and leighdb @ 50

You are both correct! Sorry, Leigh, I misread your argument...for some reason I thought you were saying that with the exception of the chapter 1 wind-beginning-end bits you didn't get different PoV's in a single chapter regarding the same event (which, after rereading the post, you didn't say at all...and with how much you've read the series you would never say...lol). So basically I was shooting down an argument you didn't make. Go me? I guess? Lol--thanks for the rereads; I love getting your insight on this wonderful series, Leigh!
Kimani Rogers
62. KiManiak
Joe heron@39 – Just to let you know that you have not been alone in suggesting either of your points (Egwene written to be disliked, and Egwene “Compelled” by Halima).

Free@40 – I know that you and I don’t often align in our perspectives and interpretations of (or just flat out disagree about) a number of things in WoT, and a reading of the bulk of my comments to this post of Leigh’s, and your comments here as well, will show that we are definitely consistent :-) However, I wanted to let you know that I do agree with your comments contrasting (and critiquing) Egwene’s comments in Chapter 33 regarding following Rand, and her proposed course of action to not follow and actively oppose him.

Rand al Todd@42 – I’m definitely not a fan of Gawyn’s. He frustrates me greatly, and almost all of the time he is “onscreen.” But, I can’t find much fault with his reaction to Egwene’s (via Silviana; and to be fair, Egwene did not intend for Silviana to word it so antagonistically) “summons” here. Egwene very clearly stated that she does not want him protecting her, or disrupting her plan to capture who she believes is behind killing the Sisters in the Tower. Egwene is using herself as bait, to snare what she believes is a Channeler.

The reply was not cryptic. Gawyn’s full comments are this:
“And tell her that the assassin is Seanchan, and carries a special ter’angreal that makes him difficult to see in shadows. Best to keep extra lights burning. The other murders were tests to gauge our defenses. She is the true target. Emphasize that the assassin is very, very dangerous – but not the person she thought it was (emphasis mine). If she needs proof, she can come talk to some of the Seanchan here in Caemlyn.”
And then he includes the assassin’s knife as proof.
He is not allowing his pride “to impact his true love’s safety.” He knows that Egwene hasn’t listened to his warnings in person, before, so he tries a different tactic. He gives her all relevant information, and he even includes physical evidence. He suggests additional sources for verification.

I have no problem with Gawyn's desire to not make it “…look as if he’d come crawling back at her command.” If, to his perspective, Egwene tells him that she doesn’t need him one moment, and then commands that he return the next, Gawyn is well within his rights to not give the appearance of being at someone’s beck and call.

Especially when that someone has made no commitments towards him and has rejected him and his opinions.
Kimani Rogers
63. KiManiak
Wet@56 – re: Egwene’s responsibility vs. Rand’s responsibility – Now, now; no trying to redefine my argument :-) I never stated that Rand wasn’t responsible for the actions of the Ashaman, which it seems you are trying to imply with the bulk of your argument. So, I’ll say it again: Rand has responsibility for the actions of the Ashaman, and should try to make amends. And, lo and behold, he has made such an attempt. Egwene, on the other hand refuses to do so. I do spell this out better @31. You may have accidentally skipped over that one :-)

As for your dismissal of megalomania – Actually, Egwene’s delusions of grandeur (which I’ve stated in my post in ToM part 16 best represents Egwene’s megalomania) continue to be well spelled out here. Even Freelancer chastises her for (on one hand) stating that “she is a tool that the White Tower must use…It is not a time to hold back any of our tools, no matter how valuable,” and then on the other hand, not going to seek Rand’s assistance with a Forsaken (when she knows through personal, first-hand knowledge that Rand has defeated at least 4 Forsaken on his own). One could suggest that she feels that she is therefore the best tool for the job, which is clearly delusional when you have the Dragon Reborn as an option.

Is it arrogance? Clearly. Is it hypocrisy? Well to go from saying “…All will be lost. It is not a time to hold back any of our tools, no matter how valuable,“ to rejecting the possibility of Rand’s assistance is fairly hypocritical.

Is it representative of delusions of grandeur, and by extension, megalomania? I believe you can easily suggest that. Clearly she believes she’s a better option than Rand, who, oh yeah, has already defeated several Forsaken (including Ishamael, who he beat 3 times). That’s why I disagree with your argument that Egwene doesn’t believe that this is about her. Egwene very often makes things about her, either directly or indirectly. She wants to stop Mesaana; she believes she’s the best option for the job and that everyone else is far inferior to her abilities (as somewhat evidenced by her treatment of Perrin during the battle in T’A’R).

If Egwene thinks she’s a better option than Rand (yet again), then yeah, I don’t think attributing her belief to megalomania is a stretch. Egwene’s being consistent.

As for Galad’s judgment: Yeah, chances are good that my view of his ruling may slightly be affecting my appreciation of his comments, too.
64. Susurrin
There is, however, a distinct difference between Rand’s responsibility for the actions of the Asha’man and Egwene’s responsibility for the Aes Sedai, particularly in this context.
I was not arguing that Rand doesn't have alot to answer for in regards his handling of the Black Tower, because really that is his single biggest failure in the series to this point in my opinion. I was just talking about Egwene here because its an Egwene chapter.
The girl has no desire to grab personal power – she has a total desire to a) protect the WT from those who would tear it apart and b) make sure it’s as ready as it can be (all things considered) for the Last Battle. She knows that not only is she the best tool, she’s also the best bait.
I am gonna disagree with this thought, as Egwene is currently trying to gather the kings of the world to stand against Rand. At any rate she has maintained her belief that she must guide Rand since she became Aes Sedai and that she knows better than he does. Rand has freely admitted that he's made mistakes along the way. Has Egwene?
Jonathan Levy
65. JonathanLevy
41. Shazzbatt
In late TDR, Faile learned that the Horn had been blown by Mat, and yes, she almost popped her eyeballs out.

Ah, beaten to it by 47.J.Dauro.

42. Rand al'Todd
Well put. Perhaps Egwene L'Amyrlin and Gawyn Prima-Donna deserve each other. That said, he has to survive the Last Battle if they're to make each other miserable for the next 60 years, so I'm not sure how I want it to go.

13. Aduiavas
49. Twedge

I think Leigh's characterization of the POV policy (POVlicy?) is correct. The closest we come to violating this (but still, far short of the line) is when we have 3 short and consecutive POVs to finish off a chapter. This happens in LoC when Egwene sends her friends to start manipulating Delana, Romanda and Lelaine, and again in LoC when the Tower Aes Sedai send out feelers to Cairhienin noblemen in anticipation of Rand's departure.

That said, in each case there is a whitespace between the POV switch.

It's interesting to note that in the ToM Perrin/Galad scenes, Sanderson used a technique which is new to WoT: Multiple switches between Perrin's PoV and Galad's PoV in the same chapter. RJ didn't use this technique, but I think it worked rather well for Sanderson. It certainly helped the plot advance quickly, which is a blessing; that said, it may have made this type of editorial slip a bit harder to catch.

52. thrasymachus2012
Morgase effectively ruled the wolves to be Perrin's livestock,
My understanding was that Morgase decided against that interpretation. She decided that Perrin, Egwene and the wolves constituted an unauthorized mercenary group.


I agree with the points you make, regarding the difference in responsibility between Rand and Egwene; however, there are other points worth mentioning which may affect the balance of the judgement.

The decision to abduct Rand was an explicit order of the Amyrlin. The decision to bond Aes Sedai was made by a lower-level officer (so to speak) in the heat of battle, when there was no possibility of consulting with Rand and getting his approval. I don't think the order came from Taim, who is explicitly described as disapproving of it. It may have originated from Logain himself.

In addition, Rand has taken some steps to mitigate the actions of his followers - by offering Asha'man to be bonded by Aes Sedai. Egwene has done nothing to mitigate the actions of Galina - she has not even assumed responsibility for them until now.

There's also a real difference in the legitimacy of the actions of the followers.

Rand was abducted by a diplomatic embassy. The Tower Aes Sedai were bonded to take them captive in battle - a battle which the Aes Sedai initiated, and after which they were planning to gentle on the spot any captives they took.

The reply was not cryptic. Gawyn’s full comments are this:
It's true that Gawyn's reply contains all the information he gathered. What it does not contain is the source of his information, the degree of its reliability, and any sense of its urgency. If he hadn't gotten his knickers in a twist, he should have dragged the sul'dam by the elbow to Egwene and had her repeat the information. This might have convinced Egwene to change her plan.

Let me try to put it in another way. Gawyn has also demonstrated in the past a tendency to believe baseless rumors (You a-kill-a my-a mother. Prepare-a to die).

He now receives solid, reliable intelligence about the enemy's plan.

He therefore...... passes this information on to Egwene second-hand in the form of a rumor. And he's doing it because his pride has been hurt.
Roger Powell
66. forkroot
Thank you for pointing that out! What part of "self-defense" don't people get?

I suppose we might cut Egwene a little slack in that she didn't know that Toveine and co. had immediate "klll" orders, nevertheless she should have done a bit of investigation before jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

BTW, for previous commenters: Note that the bonding bit was done by Logain's faction, so having a Darkfriend in charge (Taim) was not relevant
Some Person
67. The Ninth Horse
I will repeat/reiterate myself about the trial from a few(?) posts back since it makes more sense here.
Morgase said. “This is a trial by Andoran law. Well, the law is very clear. Perrin may feel that the wolves were his friends, but the law states that a man’s hound or livestock is worth a certain price. Slaying them is unlawful, but killing a man in retribution is even more so.”
Killing in retribution is illegal, but if Perrin insisted that he believed his life was in immediate danger (prossibly true), as evidenced by the White Cloaks killing his buddies, then he killed them in self-defense, which is legal.

Finally, Perrin's testimony that "I can speak with wolves. I hear their voices in my mind" pretty firmly establishes an insanity defense.
68. King of Flames
I don't get all the hate for Gawyn. He believes Rand killed his mother., based on a rumour he up to now has had no reason to disbelieve. This chapter is the very first time he meets someone with trustworthy evidence to the contrary, and he fairly quickly accepts it.
Jay Dauro
69. J.Dauro

Gawyn has had "solid, reliable intelligence" on this issue before. (The killers do not use the Power, they kill with knives. There is no evidence of Gateways.) These facts have been ignored. ;^)

King of Flames

He has had just as much evidence that Rand did not kill his mother as he has that Rand did. None. All he has had in support of Rand killing his mother is rumor.

But he has had the opinions of two major people he knows, and used to trust, that Rand did not. Egwene and Gareth.

And did you notice that the Prologue for AMOL was released this morning. TOR moved it up.I just downloaded it from Drgaonmount.
70. Soloce
Just a question -- why are the wolves in TAR headed for the Last Battle? I think I saw a theory around that the Blight was in TAR, or was TAR (in the timey whimey dreamy reality kind of way). Maybe this is a further indication that's the case? If not, then we can possibly assume some part of TG will take place there?
71. Shazzbatt
Thank you all. I totally forgot about that outburst in the earlier book. But I would have thought someone would have asked him for his autograph after the trial.
William Carter
72. wcarter
@57 J.Dauro

I want a wet Lanfear....that sounds fun;) *dodges things and retreats*
Chin Bawambi
73. bawambi
Actually Wet my point re: Siuan was to infer Marysueness by showing how the great Siuan thinks like Eggs so therefore she must be wonderful. Obviously, I neither buy Siuan's argument nor the fact that Eggs is wonderful. Heroine yes likable person not even close.
Valentin M
74. ValMar
Interesting discussions here, I'm sorry being a bit late and again having to reiterate points that have been made already.
Re: Egwene putting herself in danger. I think she is the best person for the job to the extent that anyone else would certainly have failed. Also, I don't think she is in position to appreciate how useful Rand would've been in T'A'R. She probably only has a general outline of the engagement with Rahvin. Therefore, even if Egwene didn't think that Rand is a unreliable imbecile, she wouldn't have called him to help here. OTOH, I wasn't aware that the Wise Ones were a part of the White tower...

Re: the responsibilities of Egwene and Rand, respectively. It's pretty one-sided here. I don't have anything else to add to the (rather obvious) points that Forkroot, Jonathan levy, KiManiak, Alphaleonis etc... made already. I just want to emphasize the fact that what Rand is being held responsible for in this case is a non lethal (or even violent) defence against an unprovoked attack on the BT's own grounds.

Lastly, but most importantly, wet lanfear... :D Life's little pleasures! I raise a glass to J.Dauro's subconscious mind!
75. Toby1kenobi
TRVTH wasn't picked up by the spell checker because when you write in all caps it thinks that it is an acronym like Thematic Resolution Via Truth Hearing.

I love the way Nyneve defends Rand in this section.

I should let you know Leigh, of the multitude of things you've said in this blog so far (many of which have been awesome, others not so much) the one that's offended me most is implying New Testament narrative is mythology. That would be really offensive to anyone who bases their life on it.
Gerd K
76. Kah-thurak
I should let you know Leigh, of the multitude of things you've said in this blog so far (many of which have been awesome, others not so much) the one that's offended me most is implying New Testament narrative is mythology. That would be really offensive to anyone who bases their life on it.
This kind of thing can only be offensive to you if you cannot differentiate between other peoples opinions and your own beliefs. It is pretty obvious that the contents of any religion are (at best) mythology to anyone who does not follow that particular religion. Pretty senseless to be bothered by this.

I can only repeat myself, that Gawyns hatred of Rand is one of the most implausible things in the WoT books. And the way it is resolved at this point one has to wonder what the point of it was, from the story telling point of view.
Chin Bawambi
77. bawambi

I'll take the above post one step farther. As one of the believers on this blog I'll gently correct your understanding. The book is not for the unsaved it is for the saved. Do not listen to those teachers who take offense at an attack by those who are not of our faith.

Craig "Bawambi" Garchinsky
Oh jeez, why did you have to bring this subject up. Stop now. Now, stop. Before it's too late!

Then again...... *shaking, sweating (must... Not....comment) more shaking and straining*

Fhewwww! Almost didn't make it!

Seriously though @76 has the right of it. @77 is not only not necessary, but that opinion is partially the reason for the attitudes that cause the conflicts that religion usually instigates .

That book is not just for the saved. Otherwise, how else could anyone Be saved. The Book is precious yes. It is not a rulebook for a membership into an Order. It Is the Way, the only Way to follow in order to Be Saved. Not to be withheld over contradictory opinion or any such of any likeness. The Word of God is what's important, not your opinion of someone else's belief.

How else are these to be saved if not through the words of our Lord spoken through you?

Enough. These sentiments do not really belong here. There should be some kind of of rule where real world religion shouldn't be discussed. For not everyone is a believer. And of the believers, not everyone has the same faith.

We should respect that at least.

Bridget McGovern
79. BMcGovern
@ 75, 76, 77, 78: We respect everyone's opinions and beliefs, but this is not the place for a theological debate. Let's return to discussing the chapters.
80. Surmiser
@77 Kah-thurak
I can only repeat myself, that Gawyns hatred of Rand is one of the most implausible things in the WoT books. And the way it is resolved at this point one has to wonder what the point of it was, from the story telling point of view.

I think it is plausible for Gawyn to belief that Rand killed his mother Morgase if the source is Tower Aes Sedai (possibly the young sister controlled by Rahvin). This is only inferred from his actions after the tower split until the boatride with Elayne. If only his TAR girlfriend Egwene had used her TAR powers to correct this early on instead of cuddling first, the books would be more.. plausible.
Pat .
81. dolphineus
I find people's angst over Gawyn much more annoying than Gawyn.
michael gaston
82. Ashenladoka
An interesting parallel here between the WC and Perrin on the one hand and the Asha and AS on the other. Both issues were on Andor soil and both could easily be called between rival merc groups. Would love to see who would judge THAT trial!
And before someone immediately says NOT POSSIBLE Blah Blah, I know that it's apples to oranges and the level of awe and worship some have to all things AS and foot kissing worship for Egwene, but the fact remains. Those TAS knew going in that they were on an kill mission and with rules of engagement for any land, if your the target you fight back and try to win. The TAS lives were forfeit the minute they agreed to rape (gentle) and kill. Fairly sure any judge (real judge not scared to death of the AS) would say the Asha were legally innocent.
Egwene HASN'T accepted the past mistakes that Elaida gave her or she would stop harping on this and shut her mouth with all her sulking "they bonded AS". Obviouly rules of the land and moral laws don't apply to the great and all knowing Egwene whom still wants to attack Rand and the armies of the Light if she doesn't get her way. She has to attack or bow down after marshalling armies...which option do most think miss I-know-best will take? As much as it pains me to say this I may have judged her wrong and maybe MAYBE she is under Compulsion...nah, she's just an ignorant hay in the hair sexist villager pushed into a spot.
I don't remember Nye ever telling Egwene about Rand in the dream, but to say yes to women WO from the Aiel but no to a male and the Dragon to boot seems a little sexist, stupid, short-sighted and a host of other things, to me especially since she definately knows that Rand has defeated several Forsaken, all of which were stronger than Maasana. Use every tool but the main tool for the job, gotta love her thought process. Like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail.
Gawyn...what else could be said about his stupid temper-tandrum!?! Maybe I kind of get it with the letter he was wrote after being (rightly so) put out of Egwene's room for messing up her plan. Come to think of it maybe it wasn't completely rightly so...he was correct that it wasn't the Power and maybe if miss know-it-all would have listened just a tad maybe she would have found the BK somehow or at least been better protected from them. But he's still annoying and a total moron, or was until he did his 180 on Rand and actually got his head out of his butt on his feelings and duty with Egwene.
83. Surmiser
i find Gawyn's "avenge my mommy" character more believable than Galad's story arc. The trial scene ? well i see three reigning monarchs not really owning their characters and one supposed royalty faile-ing to perform convincingly. and how many aes sedai were there again?
Zack Twigg
84. zackattack
Question: Does Egwene know why the AS were bonded? My (admittedly somewhat vague) recollection is that it’s never been confirmed that she is aware of their orders (gentle and kill on sight). Perhaps she is under the misapprehension that they were on a diplomatic mission? That would explain some of her attitude.

Here’s another thought: she’s sexist. Woman > men in her view. Hardly a new or unique attitude among AS. Authority figures who believe in the superiority of their gender are hardly a new thing (though of course they are almost always men outside of WOT). This is actually part of what I think makes Egwene an interesting and divisive character. She’s an awesome heroine who also has some rather significant character flaws. IMHO this is a good thing because it saves her from being a complete Mary Sue (I say this having previously accused her of the aforementioned Sue-ness).
Hmmm! I was going to argue against the two points for a second. But in the case of how they are treated, I guess you could look at being gentled as a form of rape. But the context is all wrong and the motivations are most certainly all wrong. Even considering the attitudes of the Reds, it's still all wrong when considering the act of raping a woman. But I would only go so far as to say that they could be related but not nearly the same. Either way I don't think the women here appreciate the sentiment, Ashenladoka.

As for the other, one could certainly think of Egwene as being sexist in her attitudes about such things as you describe. I think the Aes Sedai somewhat support that way of thinking and that could be supported by a myriad of statements made by various Aes Sedai. Of course, not all of them prescribe to that attitude, but enough of them do to at least acknowledge it as true to some great degree. And in Egwene's case I have no argument with it whatsoever.

michael gaston
86. Ashenladoka
True Z, Maybe it's not the same (apples and oranges again) and I definately DID NOT mean to offend anyone if it did. But we know that bonding a man against his will is the same as rape in AS eyes, and if your going to take the will to live from someone, or soul destroy them before you kill them, I'd say that was a type of rape. Should absolutely made that a little clearer and I apologize for it to any woman that may not have followed my thoughts on it.
Zac Reds were going to the BT. Reds=gentle. What other orders could they have but round up these men and gentle them? Surely with Elaida at the helm Egwene know that "ask the men to come to the WT for their own good" wasn't on the table. With access to the 13th Dep. she also knows about "the Vileness" and what role the Reds played in it. As for as heroine? I really don't think that applies to her when looking at everything around her. I'm racking my brain but I can't remember a time it was JUST her or a time where it wasn't ABOUT her. Hero's do what they do for OTHERS, up to and including the ultimate sacrifice of their own life. Her goals have always been saving herself (wanting an adventure in earlier books) or saving the WT (in the later ones). Not saving the world...see comments on her marshalling forces to possibly fight with Rand before the LB. DOesn't really sound to heroic to me.
Not all AS are equal, some I like some I don't.
87. Iarvin
If Cadsuane agrees with Rand on the seals - that will set her in direct opposition to Egwene. Possibly Cadsuane - one of the most divisive characters - could be instrumental in helping Egwene and Rand see eye to eye. She's the Aes Sedai's Aes Sedai that Egwene wants to be, and she's also very directly invested in Rand, in a place where she can gain respect for Rand since his enlightenment.

Cadsuane with Egwene is one of the meetings that I'm most looking forward to. Anyone else have thoughts on how that meeting could work out to Egwene benefit by bringing her around?
Don Barkauskas
88. bad_platypus
KiManiak @63:
She wants to stop Mesaana; she believes she’s the best option for the job and that everyone else is far inferior to her abilities (as somewhat evidenced by her treatment of Perrin during the battle in T’A’R).
But, to the best of Egwene's knowledge, she actually is the best option.
Within the Tower, she is far and away the best. And she enlisted the Wise Ones, who are (probably) better (or at the very least more experienced) than her. But given the Aiel culture, do you really think they would have been as willing to help if she hadn't been there with them in the fight? Egwene has no way of knowing Perin's abilities. As was pointed out above, Nynaeve was the one who saw Rand vs. Rahvin, and while it's likely that Egwene knows about this, even if she does, do you really think that asking Rand is a real option given their current antagonism? So, egomania aside, her assessment is accurate, and she really is needed.
89. thrasymachus2012
I disagree with Morgase's ruling. Perrin didn't kill those men in retribution, but in defense. The killing of the wolves was a present and ongoing occurrence. Morgase effectively ruled the wolves to be Perrin's livestock, which he would presumably own. Fine, but let's say they were sheep, instead of wolves, and Perrin was driving them to market and the Whitecloaks started killing them. Surely it would be allowable under Andoran law to use lethal force to preserve one's property from a present unlawful threat. And Morgase never disputed that the Whitecloaks presence and actions were technically unlawful.
90. thrasymachus2012
I hate this comment system

If the wolves formed a mercenary group, then why bring up the fact that hounds and livestock have a price? It's either completely irrelevant, or the wolves are considered property under the law. Further, the Kainec protocol doesn't make any sense at all here. Egwene and Perrin are two lost kids at this point, not soldiers for hire. They were threatened by what amounts to an unauthorized vigilante force. What Perrin did was so clearly self-defense that much of that trial simply doesn't make sense. This is why people should never represent themselves before a court of law.

And defense of property is certainly an allowable defense for the use of lethal force in the US, especially where the threat to property also includes a threat to life or limb. If a guy came up to you while you were in your car and tried to force you to give it up to him, you'd be fully within your rights to kill him dead rather than give it up.

In my opinion, that's two bad judgments we know about from Morgase when it comes to legal matters. One sent an innocent man to the gallows, and the other set up a silly resolution to a plot arc that didn't really need resolution.
91. Freelancer
The Ninth Horse @67
Finally, Perrin's testimony that "I can speak with wolves. I hear their voices in my mind" pretty firmly establishes an insanity defense.
I can see how you might think so, but Perrin immediately says that if they wish, he can prove it in a short time and with the cooperation of some wolves. When nobody takes him up on this, they have accepted his statement at face value as a valid truth, rather than what would be merely "true in his own mind" if he were insane.

soloce @70

It is fair to surmise that at least a component of the Last Battle event will involve Tel'aran'rhiod. Too many hints and foreshadowings to pull in here. While I'm not a fan of the "Blight is T'a'R, or in T'a'R" theory, I do believe that there are locations which offer an easier entry point. For example, the Green Man's place, I have always taken to be a T'a'R enclave with a moveable doorway in the Blight. That is why Rand can see both the saidin and TP connections to Aginor when they battle there; the only times those are visible is in T'a'R. When Rand fights Asmodean in Rhuidean (which is not in T'a'R), and severs his connection to the Dark One, he doesn't see it; he "visualizes" it before he strikes.

Revisiting the Egwene/Nynaeve/Siuan conversation, I don't go as far as some in criticizing Egwene for agreeing to ask the help of the Wise Ones, but refusing to ask Rand. I do think it is a double-standard, just not as strongly as other comments have defined it. She certainly doesn't (yet) see the Aiel as part of the White Tower. The difference here is that if she asks for the Wise Ones' aid, they will provide it, without attempting to take command (though they would be free with their advice, as always). This would still make the action one of the White Tower, with allies. Egwene most likely fears that seeking Rand's aid would somehow make them subordinate to him. (And it should, given who and what he is) She won't place the White Tower under the Dragon's authority. How much of that stand is her usual nature of standing tall for whomever she has joined, and how much her lifelong view of Rand as needing her help to stay out of trouble and never the other way around, is up for conjecture. It doesn't matter, the result is the reality.

Now, as to what, precisely, Egwene knows about Black Tower events, keep this in mind. When Jahar Narishma first made the SAS aware of the bonding of sisters by Asha'man, Egwene was already in captivity. I'm not finding anything solid to suggest that she is clearly aware of Toveine's mission and what it entailed. Without good intel there, it's understandable that her default supposition would be that the Asha'man were in the wrong for the bonding. Doesn't make it true, just understandable.

Toby1kenobi @75

Don't get too bent about that. Someone who was raised to think that any wrong they did made the "Baby Jesus cry", as if the Lord never matured into adulthood, is bound to see the whole thing as bogus sooner or later. It isn't her fault.

Donphineus @81

Touche, and Amen.
92. HeWhoLurksBeneath
I feel obligated to point out that US law does not allow you to kill anyone. It allows you to defend youself and your proprety with 'reasonable force'. If someone invades your house, attacks you in the street, etc. you are allowed to defend yourself with reasonable, including potentially lethal, force. However, if the person attacking you (or your property) stops attacking, you are obligated to stop. You are not allowed to use excessive force. Thus even police officers are trained to "shoot until the aggression stops". Anything past that point is excessive force. I just feel this is a point missing from the current discussion.

That said, I fully believe Perrin was justified in his killing of the WC at the stedding; that episode was entirely self defense. Regardless of Hopper, the WC had already threatened "If you don't surrender you will be killed."

The WC when he freed Gaul, those are a different matter... I'd say that Morgasse ruling might actually apply to that one, although I don't think they were actually in Andor.
Steve Barkmeier
93. sbark
@30 Susurrin

I think you're a bit confused here by the cross dressing. The logic is inescapable:

1) Perrin is the one with an axe
2) Lumberjacks have axes
3) Therefor Perrin is a lumberjack
4) Perrin is also okay

It was clearly Perrin's dress.
Thomas Keith
94. insectoid
Late to the party again. Having a lot of things on my mind makes it hard to think about WoT. Great post as always, Leigh.

Egwene: Still stubborn, not realizing that there's more than one danger lurking in the Tower.

Love the Captain Kirk analogy; in his case, his presence on dangerous missions (i.e., every single away team) was probably just an excuse for screen time. ;)

Also: Heh, Air Force One.

Perrin: You go dude! Go get those nightmares!

Gawyn: Makes me wish there was a good steep cliff to shove him off of. Stupid bonehead. Of course now he's finally ready to do something awesome (hint: multiple super ninja assassins) now that his obsession with Rand is over.

Poor Leigh. You really should do something about all those dents in your desk... :P

Trial: The juror made the right decision, I think. I'm just glad that later Galad gives him a death-free and honorable sentence.

Byar: Is totally bugnuts.

Umm... What is this "Handwave of Legobabble" you speak of, Leigh? *puzzled look*

Mixed POV: Glad that's been all cleared up. (For the record, I went and looked in my paperback to see if it had been fixed before seeing Leigh's edit and Peter's comments.)

However, I was (for whatever reason) immediately reminded of the rapidly-shifting POVs in the beginning of TSR ch. 9, which Leigh did remark on in passing during the Re-read of that book.

I'm going to have to try again talking my mom into buying the Prologue for the Kindle. Can't wait till October!

So close to the hunny, yet so far away...

michael gaston
95. Ashenladoka
Free @91
I'll grant that maybe Egwene doesn't know all the specifics with the WT attack/mission to the BT, but logically do you think that she would have at least ask or found out why before she keeps bringing it up. But to agree with my first statement you only have one of two options; 1) the Asha came and kidnapped TAS or 2) the TAS went to them. Obviously she is with the second option and knowing the TAS under Elaida orders went there, it's fairly safe, after the abuse Elaida did to the SISTERS, to assume she at least has a clue what the orders were and equally obvious what a group of male channelers would do. Thankfully the TAS weren't killed outright and since Logain was leading them I'm actually surprised. But she keeps whinning about it and if she actually was a good leader she would have cornered someone and asked WTH were the orders for those AS?
And no matter what, Egwene and the WT along with all of Randland will be subject to him. I don't see him leaving the WT as the masters of the land any longer, able to bully everyone. After what he went through under them I wouldn't.
William Fettes
96. Wolfmage
Re: Gawyn

Go Elayne for calling out Gawyn on his warped position. Yes, it turns out that his hatred of Rand was not just a failure of credulity, investigation and basic reasoning, but there was also this big underlying jealousy of Rand driving it because Rand had become a King-maker and King bestride the world whilst he was caught in messy webs of contrary obligations and manipulation.

That sucking noise you hear is the collapse of most of the arguments marshalled in his defence over the course of this re-read as we finally see his essential pettiness revealed.

With that said, it is a somewhat understandable failing for an immature princeling to feel threatened by an upstart commoner who has completely eclipsed his power and relevance as an independent actor. Perhaps the most galling thing was that this usurper of his self-image happened to be the ex-boyfriend of his one true love and someone with the unconditional love of his sister. So, yes, I get it, but still massive points off because it takes him forever to confront this and he needed big pushes and arguments from Bryne and Elayne to do so.

Re: Egwene

Notwithstanding that it is Siuan and not Egwene who thinks Nynaeve’s observation is siding with Rand, it’s pretty clear Egwene isn’t comfortable with extending the logic of sovereign responsibility to her own position. That’s pretty consistent with her past behaviour IMO. She does not really do serious self-reflection and self-criticism in the series. She's very good at seeing how others ought to be encumbered by the applicable standards, but she always manages to find a way to exempt herself from these. In fairness, sometimes this is out of legitimate necessity, but sometimes it's just because it is inconvenient to her plot armour and the series lets her get away with it.

In reality, Egwene obviously doesn’t have any personal responsibility for the kidnapping and torture. I also don't think Rand has personal responsibility for the forcible bonding either. Neither was directly responsible, but as leaders of their respective organisations, they both have a responsibility to acknowledge and confront what happened: Egwene as the immediate successor to Elaida and current Amyrlin, and Rand as the DR and creator of the Black Tower.

Both organisations are basically sovereigns and, therefore, there is perpetual succession and historical responsibility. Notwithstanding Taim, Rand does have responsibility for what he created. And while Egwene was not contemporaneous leader, she is still responsible in the broad historical sense simply by virtue of her office.

The two situations aren't identical, however. The bonding incident was an ad hoc response by Logain to an armed attack against the BT, which has unsettling implications in terms of the agency of the captives and the global balance of power. So Egwene is right to feel uneasy about it, despite the WT being in the wrong. Whilst the kipnapping of Rand was just a totally illegitimate and criminal act under orders from the Amyrlin. If anything I'd say the White Tower has more to apologise for than the Black Tower in this matter, but it's certainly a delicate diplomatic matter so they should both make an effort to clear the air.
Valentin M
97. ValMar
Re: what Egwene knew about the TAS mission to the BT and how much lack of info exonerates her of the criticism many here think she deserves.
Let's see what is the minimum info she reasonably has: Elaida sent a large force of AS and soldiers to the BT to deal with the BT and all the male channelers they can find. What does this entail? If Egwene assumes the best of Elaida and the AS who went, this would mean that the AS were to raise the BT and capture the AM and bring them to WT for gentling, a fate worse than death for them.
Hence, she would expect major Power confrontation. So what does she know of it, again the reasonable minimum: the AS were defeated in their attempt to capture the AM and condemn them to an awful fate. In the end of this life-and-death fight all AS were captured, none harmed but bonded- a reverseable condition, right?

In conclusion, I still believe that as far as this issue goes Egwene is deeply in the wrong even assuming she knows the most basic of facts of the TAS BT mission and assumes all normal laws were intended to be kept by the AS.

A last point regarding whether Eg would readily assume that the TAS intended to deal in the usual/legal manner with the men in the BT. Very recently she had to deal with not one or two Black Ajah AS but dozens at once. She found that normal WT procedure impractical for several reasons. So how sure (even with only few moments of thinking about it) can Egwene be that the AS would've been able to follow the law and shield all the men in the BT and travel all the way to WT? She is very clever person and no doubt can reach the obvious conclusion very quickly.

The only contrition in this dispute has come from Rand, along with an offer of compensation. I think it's highly debatable whether the BT has anything to be contrite about in this matter at all. The proportions of AM to AS would've meant that the AS had a good chance of escaping simple enprisonment and shielding leading to real bloodshed.
After all this (and the purge of the BT) the WT and BT will have to meet in the middle. I'm pretty sure they eventually will.
Valentin M
98. ValMar
Re: Perrin's trial. I think some folks are looking too closely into it and don't see the wood for the trees here. Legally the case is a mess, no need to expand on it except to throw in some random words- foreign armed religious fanatics, talking wolves, peasant boy/wolfbrother + peasant girl, livestock, Andoran mercenary law, ordinary Andoran law...
This was a masterful piece of diplomacy by Morgase. That's all. Also a fascinating case of co-operation of the good guys whilst on different sides: Perrin - Morgase - Galad. I enjoyed it.
michael gaston
99. Ashenladoka
I'm as guilty as the rest on this but it was brought up earlier and passed. But Perrin told everyone the Horn had been blown and no one FTFO! Maybe it was missed in all his I can talk to wolves stuff but good God surely some AS or Child or anyone should have said...excuses me. Run that by me again...
100. AndrewB
Iarvin @87 - I do not think that there will be any fireworks if and when Egwene and Cads meet for the first time. From Egewne' perspective, she will see somebody akin to Sorilla: a formadible woman who Egwene will respect. However, Egwene is not the same girl she was in the beginning of the series - a girl who was in awe of those above her. I believe that Egwene will treat Cads as she does to the Wise Ones. Egwene will be respectful of the woman's strength (both in Power and fortitude), while maintaing the dignity (as Egwene sees it) that the Amrylin Seat deserves.

For her part, Cads will remember Amys' statement that Egwene has honor. Cads will be able to see past Egwene's age and see Egwene strength.

(And now let me take a bow for getting #100. Of course, if somebody else slips in ahead of me, I cannot edit my statement as I am typimg this on my smartphone. My smartphone, however, is not all that smart when it comes to editing posts on blogs.)

Thanks for reading my musings.
(Sent from a smartphone; please excuse any typos)
Birgit F
101. birgit
Rand didn't really know much about TAR. He could enter in the flesh, which the WOs taught Eg was a bad idea, but he didn't really know what he was doing. Maybe LTT knows more, but we never find out how much he knew about TAR.

Taim did order the bonding, he was just unhappy that Logain took two. He probably let Logain's faction do the bonding instead of his own men so they would be blamed for it.
Jonathan Levy
102. JonathanLevy
Gawyn has had "solid, reliable intelligence" on this issue before. (The killers do not use the Power, they kill with knives. There is no evidence of Gateways.) These facts have been ignored. ;^)
To him, it was solid, reliable intelligence, to Egwene it was a wild description by a man with poor judgement who is trying to impress her. Now he has corroboration by two external sources, and he doesn't pass it on.
And did you notice that the Prologue for AMOL was released this morning. TOR moved it up.I just downloaded it from Drgaonmount.
No, I did not notice! OMG! Quick Poll - who's going to read the Prologue here? And what's the Spoiler policy going to be???

I'm pretty sure I'll be getting it as soon as I get home.

For example, the Green Man's place, I have always taken to be a T'a'R enclave with a moveable doorway in the Blight. That is why Rand can see both the saidin and TP connections to Aginor when they battle there; the only times those are visible is in T'a'R.
(The black wires are also visible in the Skimming Darkness, aren't they?)

That's an interesting theory about the Green Man's place. I had not thought of any way to fit the Green Man's place into the framework of the later books.

That said, if I were an Aes Sedai during the Breaking, and was looking to find a place to hide a Well of purified Saidin, the Horn of Valere, and one of the Seals to the Dark One's prison, I'm not sure I would have chosen a place in T'A'R. It seems too unstable.

We've heard the Wise One's warnings about untrained people going into T'A'R. We've seen Elayne and Nynaeve conjure a unicorn by mistake, and others get sucked into nightmares. Now you're going to have random seekers for the Eye get brought into T'A'R where they hang around and chat with the Green Man for a day or so - and hope that their careless thoughts don't ruin anything? Sounds a bit risky.

Also, the Green Man mentions that the Blight constantly tries to force its way in. That sounds a bit like his place is actually sitting in a particular spot in the Blight, and people with Need are transported to it, rather than it's sitting in T'A'R with a doorway that opens occasionally.

Does he sleep all night and work all day?

...immediately reminded of the rapidly-shifting POVs in the beginning of TSR ch. 9...
I had forgotten that example. Thanks for the ref.

Ha! Good point. I'm going to have to re-read that chapter myself now... :)
Philip Alan Smith
103. AlanS7
One thing that has always niggled with me is Bain and Chiad presenting Gaul with arrows and spears. From Shadow Rising Ch. 23:
A gai'shain has toh to his or her captor. For gai'shain, this is to serve one year and a day, obeying humbly, touching no weapon, doing no violence.
Terry McNamee
104. macster
One side comment: the soup being good because its ingredients came from Caemlyn--would this be another example of Rand's Dragon power, leaking through the bond to Elayne?

Egwene: Sigh. All right, having put in charge the man who okayed the bonding, and not policing or controlling him in any way, is indeed worse than inheriting the office from someone who ordered chaining and beating but who otherwise had nothing to do with you. I don't think anyone would say Egwene is responsible for what Elaida did. But, she is responsible in the sense that she needs to acknowledge it happened, apologize for it, and make up for it. Rand at least acknowledged what Logain and Taim did, and despite the fact they were merely protecting themselves from gentling and murder, he made restitution. Egwene has done no such thing. Even though she knows what was done to Rand was wrong, acknowledged it as such in the previous book when she compared herself to Rand and was proud of him for not buckling to Elaida, she now won't even admit it happened, let alone apologize for it or make reparations. At least the Salidar Hall agreed to an alliance with the Black Tower.

I am not mad at Egwene for her choosing to put herself in danger yet again--indeed, she does know the most about TAR among the Aes Sedai, and she is as essential tool for them to use as is shown during the confrontation with Mesaana. But she needs to stop trying to repair the reputation of the Tower. Or rather, she needs to realize that the best way to repair it is to acknowledge that the Tower did wrong. Rather like the Catholic Church it is based on, people may be disappointed or upset to learn an organization supposed to be unimpeachable and flawless can make mistakes and falter, its members doing wrong and committing crimes just as much as anybody else can...but at the same time, admitting this happens and then denouncing what was done would in turn restore their reputation. It'd make them seem to lose moral high ground, yes, and not like a perfect institution one should always look to for guidance and salvation, but at the same time admitting the truth is better than living a lie. Instead of being hypocrites, they'd be admitting their flaws and then punishing the flawed, something to inspire faith and trust. But...no one ever seems to see that.

I'd be disappointed in Siuan...but for all that she's been trying to guide Rand instead of control, command, or imprison him, all along she's still seen him as someone to be guided and manipulated. Even though she knows he must be let to run free in order to fulfill the Prophecies, she still thinks he needs to be guided, and by the Tower. So it's not surprising that Nynaeve listening to him rather than the other way around would bother Siuan. If only she knew that Rand does, in fact, listen to her, and it's precisely because she listens to him--trust is a two-way street. The problem is that, despite how much we love Siuan, she's as much unable to believe a man, particularly a channeling man, can guide himself and have wisdom and be trusted, as any other Aes Sedai. Or Randland woman in general.

I find myself wondering what would have happened if, her fears for his sanity and concerns about the seals aside, Egwene could have brought herself to ask Rand for help. Whatever he's planning, however he might be manipulating her to gathering the armies for him, surely he would have helped bring down another Forsaken. Is there anything he could have told her that might have helped? Would having Asha'man fighting at their side helped save any lives, or killed more of the Black Ajah? Would it have helped foster more trust between Asha'man and Aes Sedai? We'll never know now.

As for Gawyn...this time, Leigh, I am afraid I have to say I think you're wrong about him. Or at least, being too hard on him. Yes, it is arrogant and presumptuous of him to be judging Rand the sheepherder's right to be conquering lands and ruling people. And yes, it's annoying that it isn't until Elayne tells him how hypocritical, irrational, and dangerous his thinking is that he finally wises up and lets his hatred go. But you're missing the big point: he did listen, and he did finally let it go. However half-heartedly, however reluctantly, however peevishly, he did it. I found this one of his better chapters in the book, actually. I loved seeing him interact with Elayne, I love that she shows wisdom, understanding, and insight--not just about him, but about herself; it looks like that mishap in the dungeons really did finally teach her she needs to change her ways. And I love that she said what so many readers have been thinking all along--about his stupidity in believing the rumors about Rand and Morgase, and about what would happen if he killed the Dragon Reborn, the Light's only hope.

The key here, though, is that not only has Elayne finally gotten a clue, so has Gawyn. He may not have the attitude and mindset you want him to, but if he were suddenly perfectly okay with Rand, that would be poor characterization. These emotional changes take time to be realistic. He may not be getting off his high horse yet, or openly acknowledging how stupid and irrational he was being, but at least he listened to Elayne, then made the right choice to let his hatred go. That is a huge step up and in the right direction, and I think your anger and annoyance at the slow nature of it and the manner in which it was couched is making you miss out on what a huge watershed moment this is for Gawyn. This is a pivotal moment, not just for the forces of the Light and for Rand, but for Gawyn himself. Learning to think instead of just be passionate and instinctive, to realize there are bigger things than himself, to learn to subsume his personal feelings to those of duty and a higher calling, is what's keeping him from following the path of his Arthurian namesake--whose recklessness and passionate nature indirectly led to Mordred and the fall of Camelot. It's also what enables him to learn to obey Egwene so as to become her Warder in truth, and it may very well play a key role in how he will help during the Last Battle.

As for the way the chapter ended, Silviana's letter and Egwene's ridiculous hot-and-cold attitude with Gawyn makes me not blame him in the slightest for his reaction. On top of the contradictory nature of it--she won't take him as her Warder, she won't let him guard her, she tells him to go away because he's messing with her plans and traps, so what is he supposed to do? Hang out with the Younglings and Tower guards, or with Bryne and the army? That's hardly accomplishing anything--there's the fact he went back to Caemlyn. You know, the place everyone (including himself) has been saying he should have gone long ago, where he should have been all along. Even Egwene herself, I believe, had said he should see his sister. I know Bryne did. So now he goes to do just that...and is suddenly in trouble. No, I don't blame Gawyn for his reaction in the slightest. Also, this was prophesied: Egwene had her dream of trying to turn him around, and sometimes he pushed her hands away while others she succeeded in turning him, and Min had her viewing of him either kneeling to Egwene or breaking her neck. So him vacillating, wishing to serve Egwene and then refusing to obey her, is part of this future.

The trial: It may not have seemed like much, not important, nothing more than a placeholder and a way to get out of fighting until the narrative could move along, but I rather liked it. Aside from being well-written, showing Galad not to be a complete prick, and revealing part of Morgase's importance, I thought it an interesting part of revisiting things from the start of the series, a trend which occurred throughout both TGS and ToM. I'm not sure how much was Sanderson's idea and how much Jordan's, but obviously he had intended to return to these things and made mention of them in his notes; I can't see something which had so much time devoted to it in the text as this trial to be completely Sanderson's invention. Either way, though, the recapitulation of the events at the stedding near Hawkwing's statue was very well done, properly capturing the emotions of that night; I especially liked the mention of Egwene's line of asking Perrin to dance on Sunday. And aside from the reiteration of what happened at Falme and how Perrin had nothing to do with Geofram's death, I especially liked the reminder that Byar tried to release them so they could be killed escaping. An important detail which plays into Byar's character and reveals why he was so easy to Compel.

So, I enjoyed the scene for what it was. It may not have meant much legally, or narratively, since it was just a way to allow Perrin to get his people back and move on to important things like getting rid of the dome, fighting Slayer, inadvertently helping get rid of Mesaana (I say he gets credit for it the same way Egwene does), making his hammer, and getting to Caemlyn--though it also becomes clear he needed to save the Whitecloaks and bring them in to join the Light's forces. But it meant a lot to Perrin, to his character arc from the very first book onward, and to his emotional and mental well-being. And that's why it was worth visiting in such detail, I think.

Also, I don't think Morgase was calling just Perrin and Egwene the rival mercenary group, but also Elyas and the wolves. This may not have been legally any more valid, but it's at least much more of a "group" and one that could conceivably lead to a clash of arms and thus invoke the Kainec protocol.

Lastly, I don't see a need to belabor the point since others have pointed out that it's been corrected in the paperback edition, but let me just say I agree with you, Leigh on the POV switch. Not so strongly, perhaps--it didn't throw me out of the story or make me see red or anything. But I did notice it, it did confuse and bother me, and I do agree it was quite the departure from Jordan's usual skill and talent, and just plain seemed tacky and off-putting. So, I'm glad they caught that and fixed it. One more argument, indeed, in opting for more time before publishing to make sure proper editing can be done.

@1 Samadai: Hear, hear!

@6 JWezy: It depends on how define "rewarded". Nothing immediately awesome and beneficial happened, no, but note that Bornhald actually starts believing Perrin about his father, suspicion falls on Byar, and Galad actually takes advantage of his mother's legal semantics (loved Dannil's "there's a difference?") to be relatively lenient with Perrin. It may not be immediately connected to Perrin's confession, but it does follow it, so you could say he was rewarded with the deferment of his punishment, one enemy exposed for what he was, and a chance the other would change his tune.

@13 Aduiavas: You're thinking of the part where we visited the heads of each of the Superboys, plus Elayne and Egwene, just before the attack at the Stone. And yes, there was no dialogue, but it was also in succeeding paragraphs, not in the same one. Anyway, it's the only time Jordan did it, and they were all separate scenes, not shifting from one character's POV to another within the same scene.

@15 zackattack: I think the reason the bit with Perrin's wolf dream training was there is twofold: to line up the timelines better, and also because Perrin is going to end up part of the same plotline with Egwene and Gawyn (Mesaana/Slayer/Bloodknives). So the association is beginning now to prepare the reader for that convergence later.

@20 KiManiak: I have to agree re: Egwene. This must be a record, me now agreeing with you twice on your (negative) opinion of a Supergirl! ;)

@22 Aegnor: In Gawyn's defense (yes I am still defending the poor mushroom), what Elayne told him did sound rather irrational. Remember that while we have access to everything that's going on in the series so that we know Rand is indeed healing the land wherever he goes (even if we don't quite know the mechanism of it), no one else in the series knows this except Min, Cadsuane, and possibly Nynaeve (and Almen Bunt, but I'm only talking main characters here). Gawyn certainly doesn't, and for that matter neither does Elayne--she just knows what she feels through the bond, but she certainly can't prove anything. So from Gawyn's perspective, what she said did sound a little ridiculous. I actually laughed at his mental response, since he wasn't just in crazy "I-hate-Rand-al'Thor" mode; the thought that "people think and do crazy things when they're in love" was rather apt considering the things Gawyn himself has done. So, perhaps a bit of pot/kettle, but not actual irrationality in my opinion.

@23 PeterAhlstrom: Thanks for that information! It's good to know this really was a mistake and has been rectified, that will be good for Leigh's peace of mind and many others.

@27 wcarter: Considering what sentence he gives later, I would say Galad was operating under option one. Or more generally, he hadn't decided yet what would be appropriate so he waited. That, and he liked making Perrin sweat (and had a nasty sense of humor), and he knew he couldn't outright judge right that moment since, no matter which way he ruled, either Perrin's people or Byar and those who thought like him would start a fight, the very thing he and Perrin had been trying to avoid with the trial. Better to wait until later, when tempers had cooled, before he would render his judgment.

@30 Susurrin: Have we ever seen female Whitecloaks? I am guessing they must be an all-male organization...well, they'd been traveling through various towns, procuring supplies, he could easily have bought a dress anywhere. But the question would be, why...unless maybe Byar or Bornhald rescued one of Morgase's dresses from the Fortress of the Light and gave it to him as a memento of her?

@35 Ashenladoka: I think it is unfair of you to call those who will argue in Egwene's favor the "Egwene can do no wrong" camp. I don't think anybody, even her most ardent fans, ever say she's never done anything wrong in the series. And I never said that either, in case you were wondering. My defense of her before was in saying that I think she is at heart a good person, that she will eventually be made to see the error of her ways and support Rand in his endeavors, and that this must happen for the story to progress, let alone end even somewhat positively. I certainly never said she'd not done wrong--not even going back through the whole series, I did say that however justified she may have been in being suspicious of and worried about Rand when he came to the Tower, the way she acted toward him, her attitude, and the subsequent decisions she's made regarding him have been quite wrong indeed. And I think her refusal to acknowledge what Elaida did, apologize, make restitutions, or at least stop raising a stink about the Asha'man bonding the Aes Sedai, is extremely arrogant, misguided, and flawed, and that as with her objection to the seal-breaking plan, she needs to be made to see the error of her ways and she will be. But I will say that however much that needs to happen, and the Tower changing its ways in general, Egwene does not deserve having an a'dam on her again, even in jest. That sort of hyperbolic and inflammatory language is...a bit much, don't you think?
Terry McNamee
105. macster
@37 travyl: Yay, another Gawyn defender!

@38 bawambi: Um, I am fairly sure a lot of Egwene's opinions came from the fact she was tutored by Siuan. However, I think you are right that Fain/Halima may have had an influence as well.

@40 Freelancer: Good point, and it makes me want to comment that it seems interesting if Rand's new state makes people "just follow him" (see the return to Bandar Eban as just one example), isn't it odd Egwene is actually capable of defying him? Not just that she'd want to, but be able to do it? This could be as simple as Rand not directing the full force of his Dragon power on her, but if as has been suggested he actually wants her to do what she's doing, that could also be why she can. Related to this is the idea that the Pattern, through Rand's ta'veren effect, allowed her to be able to move and speak because it needed her to do what she does, and thus it would naturally have also allowed her to defy him instead of obeying.

@41 Shazzbutt: She already knew about the Horn--when they were fleeing the Darkhounds in TDR, Moiraine accidentally revealed Mat had sounded it (and Faile did have quite the reaction). She also may have met Mat in the Stone; she certainly would have been told about him. (And J. Dauro and JonathanLevy already got here. Oh well. :P )

@42 Rand al'Todd: In Gawyn's defense, Egwene had told him she had all her bases covered with her traps and plans. And his message wasn't cryptic at all--it said the assassins weren't who she thought, that they were Seanchan, that they carried ter'angreal which made them hard to see in shadows, and told her to put extra lights on. Granted that would have made things worse as it turns out, but he didn't know that. If the messenger hadn't been killed and Egwene had listened to it, and/or checked with the sul'dams as he suggested, everything would have been fine as far as he knew. In any event, the point isn't whether he was being dumb, it's that (I feel at least) it's understandable why he is doing so because of the way Egwene and Silviana were acting. EDIT: And I see KiManiak addressed this too. But consider my support added!

@43 AndrewB: Generally I agree, but one point--Perrin has, in fact, seen balefire before, when Moiraine used it on the Darkhounds in TDR. Of course he may have forgotten that, and even seeing it and what it did to the Darkhounds wouldn't necessarily tell him he couldn't or shouldn't be able to deflect it (Moiraine never said what it was, just that it was forbidden, and he didn't hear Egwene call it balefire until after he deflected it). But it is still possible he knew what it was, just that he didn't think it was unblockable because, as you point out, he didn't know all the details about it as Aes Sedai do.

@56 Wetlander: You make good points, but I have to disagree with your assessment that Egwene is acknowledging what you say she is. Other than saying what was done to Rand is a responsibility "inherited from Elaida, perhaps" (and note that important "perhaps"), what has she said or done to acknowledge it? Has she sent a proclamation to the lands, or a message to Rand, saying what happened and repudiating it as wrong and illegal? Offered restitution, whether something new or the bonding which has already taken place (i.e., retracted her objections to it)? Personally apologized to Rand? Moved to ally openly with the Black Tower once she found out saidin was truly cleansed? Without doing any of those things, I don't see how she can be said to be acknowledging much of anything, at least not in a way that is public or of any real value.

@57 J. Dauro: LOL! Although to be fair, while the Wise Ones would (and do) react badly to that suggestion/implication, it's quite clear in the chapter where she meets with the Wise Ones and Windfinders that she does want them to be part of the Tower, considers them to be so, and has for a long time now--recall her determination to have all channeling women tied to the Tower, which has been stated well before this book. Doesn't make it right for her to refuse to appeal to Rand for help, but it does make her actions a little bit less hypocritical, since to her the Wise Ones are in fact part of the Tower, or will be. Which only underscores the fact that despite her vision in the stained-glass window, she still hasn't accepted the fact that the Black and White Towers will have to work together, if not become allies or part of the same organization.

@60 Alphaleonis: Maybe she doesn't know what the fifty Aes Sedai were going to do. Though the number alone, as well as who sent it, should have told her, and one thing Egwene is not is dumb...

@63 KiManiak: I am not sure I would call what Egwene was doing megalomania. That's not the same thing as selfishness or attention-seeking. Egwene definitely seems to think she is the best tool, or the best one for the job, but since said job could very involve her death I don't see how that is accruing her any power, let alone on the level a megalomaniac would be seeking. Unless you're trying to equate that with what would come with martyrdom. Also note that since Egwene is the only Dreamer the Tower has had in 400 years, and it was to her the dream about Mesaana came, she may think that means she personally has to be the one to prevent it coming true or it won't happen. Not that any of this denies her thinking is wrong, just pointing out your terminology may not be quite right.

@65 JonathanLevy: Point regarding Gawyn. However, I don't think the argument is that he could have given Egwene better or more information, but whether the information he did give her was a) of little use b) a failure to communciate c) guaranteed to end in her death or d) him being an idiot. While he could indeed have said or done more as you suggest, I don't think it can be argued that what he did tell her was negligent or wrong. The only thing he didn't get right, the bit about the shadows, he couldn't have corrected even with more information since Kaisea refused to tell him (and said there was no way to defeat them anyway). And if the message had gotten through, just knowing there were assassins and they weren't Black Ajah or Darkfriends would have been enough to make Egwene change her plans, perhaps in a way the Bloodknives couldn't predict or have prepared for the way they had her weaves (having known of them courtesy of Gawyn tripping them). Unless he had considered the possibility the Bloodknives might be watching for messengers going to the Amrylin's room, and/or seen the knife on the tray and known to intercept it, he would think what he told her was enough to protect her. It isn't until he realizes she will be asleep and helpless that he rushes to save her.

@67 The Ninth Horse: That's assuming such a thing as an insanity defense is even known in Randland, let alone given any merit. As for the self-defense bit, it seems that in his guilt Perrin wasn't interested in making such an argument. That and, even if he had, Morgase might not have bought it. After all, even knowing what the Whitecloaks are like, they did say he wouldn't be harmed if he walked in the Light and only asked for his surrender. The only ones they had actually harmed at that point were wolves, and since she didn't accept them as worth retribution, she might not have accepted them as worth defending either.

@76 Kah-thurak: Well for one thing, it kept him from interfering when Rand was taken and held in the box, and it kept him from joining Rand's group after Dumai's Wells. If Rand hadn't been taken or had been released before he was beaten, that would have changed the series in major ways. Gawyn coming to his way of thinking (and by extension that of the rebel Aes Sedai) would also have changed a lot.

@82 Ashenladoka: My. Since you've chosen to call those who defend Egwene the "Egwene can do no wrong" camp, I guess that means it's okay to state how clearly you're a rampant Egwene-hater who won't be happy till she's locked in an a'dam, killed, or something equally disgusting and final. This sort of frothing rabid hatred is...saddening. And I still maintain that there's no way a fight between the forces of the Light can happen in the time we have left, let alone for the series to end positively. So whether you think it will happen or not, whether it's believable or not, the fact is she is going to have to capitulate, or be made to, without a battle.

@87 Iarvin: I'd definitely pay money to see that meeting! And I am also rather amused at the quandary that would put poor Wetlander in: she's been a big Egwene defender for a long time, but also a Cadsuane defender, and she has acknowledged that Egwene needs to change her tune and support Rand. So I guess that means that despite her defenses of Egwene, in this case she'll have to root for Cadsuane!

@91 thrasymachus2012: You contradicted yourself. If Perrin gave a bad defense, how does that make the "bad" ruling Morgase's fault? Also, it wasn't a bad ruling at all; quite clearly the Whitecloaks weren't going to accept an innocent ruling, so this was the only way to prevent a battle. By using the Kainec protocol she made it clear she did not approve of what the Whitecloaks did in her realm, sent the message to Galad that he needed to properly consider the circumstances before ruling, and gave him the opportunity to choose a punishment other than death which otherwise wouldn't have existed. I'd call that good. Plus it's clear that however much we may think Perrin was utterly innocent, he didn't. So receiving a guilty verdict and a chance to expunge his guilt (without dying) was really the only way to resolve the plot that would let him move on, forgive himself, and become the true leader he was meant to be. Until he stopped doubting himself, that couldn't happen, and this event was as critical to him in that doubt as the wolfbrother thing was. In fact they were tied together, since it happened because of his first exposure to, and loss within, his wolfbrother nature.

@91 Freelancer: I never really thought about it, but your point about seeing the "threads" makes sense for it being TAR. That, and the fact need was the key in finding the Green Man.

@92 HeWhoLurksBeneath: They were in Ghealdan at the time. Alliandre would have to make the ruling, and she made it clear she supported Perrin (and Galad made it clear the Whitecloaks therefore wouldn't accept her as a judge). Of course again, the question of whether Perrin and Gaul count as an "unauthorized mercernary force" is debatable. Then again, Aiel are pretty much one-men armies, so maybe it would count. :P

@96 Wolfmage: While I agree Gawyn shouldn't have accepted Rand's guilt based just on rumors, I still don't think there was much he could have done to prove it true save speaking to Elayne, which at the time he couldn't do since he had no idea where she was. And I also think that Egwene bears responsibility too for not telling him about the rumors about Morgase that Mat brought to Cairhien. But if Wetlander is right that Lanfear's attack made her forget this, then that makes it Lanfear's fault. :P Anyway, it seems to me these underlying reasons for Gawyn's feelings mean that he merely used the "death" of his mother as a pretext to justify his jealousy. That doesn't make what he believed right but it does explain why he didn't go looking for answers, so he could continue hating him unmolested. It wasn't willful belief in the efficacy of rumors, but latching onto the nearest thing he could find to allow him to act on his subconscious feelings. Still, the fact there was no way anyone could prove to him at the time what really happened, and/or he couldn't get to the people who could, should still be taken into account.

@99 Ashenladoka: I doubt the Whitecloaks even believed what Perrin said; Byar certainly didn't, while Bornhald only sat down looking doubtful. As for Perrin's side...the Aes Sedai would already know about what happened at Falme due to the rumors which spread across the land and the report Verin brought back, and Alliandre and Berelain would have heard of it as well; it's even possible news reached Andor before Rahvin set up shop. In any event Morgase was busy being an objective, serious judge so she wouldn't show any reaction. That just leaves the Winged Guards, Ghealdanin soldiers, and Two Rivers men, and they pretty much all already believe Perrin is an amazing leader and hero, so knowing he was at Falme and fought alongside the Heroes of the Horn probably wouldn't surprise them at all. I do agree, though, that it does feel like there still should have been more of a reaction.

@100 AndrewB: You may be right about their overall attitude toward each other, but that doesn't mean Cadsuane won't support Rand, or be able to convince Egwene to back down in a way that will save the Tower face.

@102 JonathanLevy: You're missing the point. Since to him his first report was solid and reliable intelligence, having Egwene dismiss it would make him think she'd dismiss anything, even the two sources he had. Plus he did still tell her to check with the Seanchan in Caemlyn; that isn't not passing the information on, it's telling where to look to check his findings. I doubt she'd have appreciated a Seanchan being dragged before her to give evidence, and that's even assuming Kaisea could be made to speak again. (We never learn, but I assume she didn't get collared, so the failure of that might make her unwilling to speak, even setting aside her being a Seanchan and former sul'dam and Egwene being the Amyrlin and a marath'damane.) There's nothing more he could have done except tell her all this to her face, and with the way she reacted last time, and how she and Silviana were treating him, he had a pretty good reason to expect a repeat, and to avoid her because of this.

Re: the Green Man--then if his place isn't in TAR, how do you explain it moving, or need being used to find it?
Marty Beck
106. martytargaryen
I can't believe I never made the connection between the Green Man's place and TAR. It seems so obvious now.

S Cooper
107. SPC
@103 I suspect they just wrapped them in a cloth or something. Didn't Aviendha use that workaround to carry a sword once? The Aiel can be terribly literal when it suits their purposes.
108. Freelancer
RE: Egwene and the Black Tower mission.

Since you request that I think logically, it is fair to assume that the first word Egwene has had about Toveine's orders and the results would have come from TAS members, and likely would have been "spun" to appear as exculpatory as possible for the Aes Sedai involved, and as incriminating as possible for the Asha'man. Every precedent in the story includes the Aes Sedai protecting the reputation of the White Tower above almost all else. In other words, Egwene is working from mis-information. If she is to be faulted in this, it is more that she hasn't spent any energy to investigate the veracity of the story she has up to this point, but has accepted it at face value. First Oath, right?

I have no interest in "deducing" anything further about this episode without clear information, because any further such deduction would incorporate the filtered preferences of the deducer, making them faulted, and any conclusions therefrom invalid.

birgit @101

I had always considered that Taim avoided having his crew do the bonding of Toveine's Aes Sedai so that their df status wouldn't be revealed until they could bring in the Myrddraal and start "converting" sisters. I think that Taim's faction early on were those that were willing to serve the shadow without being forced to it, and bonding the sisters would have been more problematic. It would also seem that the arrogant nature of Taim's asha'man wouldn't care to have such a bond, no matter who held the better end of it. So it was more a matter of "let Logain be stuck with them".

JonathanLevy @

The "skimming darness" is far more likely an aspect of the Dream World than the Waking World, I see no problem there.

My suggestion wasn't that the Green Man's place moved about. I too believe that it is in a fixed location. But several relatable factors point at it being within T'a'R. I said that the "doorway", the entry point, was never in the same place twice, according to those who had visited, so was clearly moveable. And, since the key to finding Someshta is Need, I think we have a more than strong hint that T'a'R is involved. That's how any dreamwalker finds an unknown which they seek. Apparently this entry point for the Green Man's domain is special, in that anyone, whether able to consciously enter the Dream World or no, can get through if their Need is appropriate. Someshta knows something of how and why this place was prepared by those who created the Eye, because he states that nobody should have been able to visit him twice, hence his surprise at seeing Moiraine a second time. (And of all those things folks would like to know, but never will be fleshed out in the story, I'd love to know what the purpose and result of her first visit was. It was before she met Lan.)
Bridget McGovern
109. BMcGovern
@106/Everybody: Since Leigh is planning to read AMoL only after she finishes her reread of ToM, the reread should probably stay a spoiler-free zone when it comes to the prologue, but feel free to go nuts over on the spoiler thread for now. If the plan changes, we'll let you know!
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
@109 - please yes. I'm not reading the Prologue either (except to the extent free exerpts appear on Tor.com).
Stefan Mitev
111. Bergmaniac
You'd think that Gawyn would be more used to the concept that being able to channel makes low birth irrelevant. After all, this has always been the policy of the White Tower and not just on paper either - Siuan and Egwene becoming Amyrlins proved it. Besides, Andor is about as egalitarian as possible for a feudal monarchy. Queens can marry commoners, and Elayne never had a problem befriending and even falling in love with people of low birth, and not just channellers either.
Donna Harvey
112. snaggletoothedwoman
@109 BMcGovern, Thank you so much, I was worried I would have to forego reading these re-reads to avoid spoilers from the Prologue. I really enjoy Leigh's spin on these books, as well as the responses from the fans.
Marty Beck
113. martytargaryen
Thank you BMcGovern for the link. I have removed the offending part of my post @106
114. OneNote
In regards the bonding of Aes Sedai, in LoC Ch. 42 Rand tells Taim that if any sisters die, he will come for Taim. Taim would have told the Asha'man not to kill. How else were they to protect themselves? Keep 50 sisters shielded constantly, or let them go so they can try again? We are told that stilling can result in death, as the one severed loses the will to live. They made the best of impossible orders (remember a bond can be released). In CoT Ch. 24 Logain and Rand have this very discussion, "what should we have done?"
michael gaston
115. Ashenladoka
The a'dam comment DID NOT say she needed one around her neck. So please don't try to put those words in my mouth. I've never said that nor will I ever say that. Just making that crystal clear.
As an institution the leashing needs to be stopped immediately and I've wondered a 1000 times how that will be stopped if it could. Envisioned Toun showing up and Egwene snapping one around her neck to demonstrate, or Mat or Rand even, telling the Empire while basically talking to Toun, but how do you get the damane to re-enter into a world where for possibly years they have believed they were livestock? Won't happen overnight that's for sure. Interesting point on that adam. Of all the AS in the WT, Egwene knows what torture is like and we all saw her lash out because of it. Kind of sad with first hand knowledge of those types of abuses that she can't acknowledge the abuses that Rand suffered. Beaten daily multiple times then stuffed into a box. Surely she can remember her own abused body and say something.

No secret I'm not a big Egwene fan and let's look at "do no wrong" comment. Every time someone points out something she's screwed the pooch on someone else immediately comes and gives her an out. Somehow they try to excuse her behavior any way possible. Look a few comments upwards. "...Shes's working on misinformation..." to paraphrase. I agreed that maybe she doesn't have all the facts, but if she accepts the 1st Oath at face value without some REAL investigation then she proves she's a fool. But again logically if Elaida would have the Dragon, THE DRAGON FOR THE LIGHT-SAKE tortured, who would believe that she wouldn't have done the same to the BT? Elaida was part of the Vileness and just escaped without exile. Only a fool of a Am Seat wouldn't know that the AS were going to at a minimum attack the BT and try to take the men prisoner. Only a fool of an Am Seat wouldn't know those same men wouldn't fight back. I mean seriously Egwene RELEASED Logain. She believed in Rand's amnesty (sort of anyway). Maybe Logain not killing the AS was his way of repaying her kindness. I'm sure the bonded AS didn't really see it that way but alive is ALWAYS better than dead for the most part.

Macster I'll point out that more than once I've said I hope she changes and I'd prefer that she doesn't go into a nose dive with Rand. Also stated on her that she just needs to stop being a hypocrite and that alone would take her very far in life. "Rampant Egwene hater" may be excessive but it's your choice to say what you want. I'd hope you would read everything I've said about her prior to that title but I know RL is also involved and sitting behind a computer waiting on WoT comments all day isn't possible. However, as long as people keep giving her an out for everything, I would say "do no wrong" is an accurate label. More than once I've defended the WT and her office and said I don't see how she can save the office if she continues down the current path and as she has said, the WT must be saved. No, there really isn't a lot of time in the series for Team Light to have a pitched battle, but I'll point out that the battle is probably going to be short anyway. Channelers aside, because there will be nothing the AS can really do since Rand's forces aren't DF's, Rand's armies dwarf's Egwene's and I can't see a general of Garath's intellegance wanting to fight as vastly outnumbered as he is. If it comes to that I believe that the Sitters will depose Egwene on the spot to protect themselves, mainly because they already dislike her for her manipulation. But publically Egwene has denounced Rand's plan's and is trying to defy him (whether you agree or not isn't the point here). Doesn't matter if she thinks he's a woolheaded childhood friend or clearly insane, she's taken the moral high ground or is trying to. Once she is "convinced" by all her friend's the office of the Am Seat does lose in the eyes of the world and is now seen as subject to the Dragon. Most of the men in this world will see an AS/Am Seat brought down a peg, the women in general and AS specifically will see it as surrendering something they worked years to build. That is what ticks me off a bit. And truthfully this is not the first time I've said it.

The Horn was blown...Yep rumors have went across Randland about what happened in Falme, but you just have someone who was there, witnessed by Byar, confirm this. Queen or not, to have this confirmed should have caused a blink and we all know how un-ruly the TR guys are when it comes to speaking their minds. Was just surprised really that NO ONE said anything about it. Talk about having a spot for humor in the chapter...AS faints, Morg says "not guilty by reason of insanity!"
116. Iarvin
AndrewB @ 100, I too don't think that it would turn too much into a fireworks show either. I do think though that Cadsuane is a strong enough character that she could help Egwene make a course correction in regards to Rand. That would be possible precisely because Egwene would be able to respect Cadsuane.

Cadsuane is a really interesting character. To me she is the stereotype ideal Aes Sedai, and this leads to her being a very divisive character. Aes Sedai characteristics tend to legitimately put peoples back up, especially because they often are completely wrong. Cadsuane however is rarely to never wrong in what she's attempting to achieve. She does make mistakes in her methodologies, but her judgement of what needs to happen is rarely to never mistaken. She remains my least favorite "Good" character, but she is worthy of respect.

Egwene is much more flawed - and as she's much younger I think that's understandable. She has a very similar will, but she makes many mistakes both in methodology and in her judgement of what needs to happen. She could learn a LOT from Cadsuane, and while she'd still be highly unlikeable to me, she'd be a lot more respectable. If she gained all of Cadsuanes good points though, and kept her own position of power, she'd be very Mary Sueish.

Egwene has the benefit of being one of the heroines of the story, so even though she has Cadsuanes bad points and lacks many of Cadsuanes good points, she'll never be at the bottom of my "favorite character" list, but she probably deserves to be.
William Carter
117. wcarter
@116 Iarvin

As far as Cads and Egghead meeting, I still want to see one character spank the other.

Either Cadsuane should take Egwene over her knee for having drank the kool-aid a little too much on the whole "Aes Sedi Know Best. Always." belief; or barring that, Egwene should full-armed slap Cadsuane since she very nearly train wrecked Life, The Universe and Everything when her ' Rand meets Tam' plan failed on such an epic scale.
118. Iarvin
@117 Agreed. But it failed because of how she did it, not because it was a bad idea to have Rand meet Tam again. My big problem with both of them is that they drink the "Aes Sedai Know Best. Always." coolaid down to the dregs.

The thing is with Cadsuane - she generally does know best. She screws it up because she can't communicate in a manner that wouldn't offend anybody with two brain cells to rub together.

It would be much more viscerally enjoyable if they duke it out and pull hair and scream - but I doubt it would contribute to their character development.
Logain or Taim wouldn't need to torture the bonded Aes Sedai to be cruel. He wouldn't need to kill them to be overtly malicious.

All they would have needed to do is sever each and every one of them. That would be the best form of torture. And it would be life long too! And what could the Aes Sedai say about it. It's what they do to males? Turn about is fair play right?

No, the Aes Sedai got off easy being bonded. They deserved more than what they got.

120. alreadymadwithmorgase
Frankly Morgase could just have declared the White Cloaks were poaching Andoran wildlife and acted threateningly to a scared boy who had just survived a Trolloc raid, and fined the whole lot of them. Then she could have Alliandre as ruler of Ghealdan charge them with illegal detention and have her fine the whole lot of them over again.

There was a time early in the series when she would have loved flipping them off like that. Unfortunately this time, she not only has to appease the White Cloaks request for justice, she also has to take the choice that would cause the least bloodshed, and assuage Perrin's idiotic feelings of guilt.
Some Person
121. The Ninth Horse
105. macster
I didn't say the wolves were worth defending, but that Perrin had a legitimate concern for his own safety. As for "we won't harm you", are you likely to believe that if someone is searching for you, killing along the way? "You’ll not be harmed if you walk in the Light" isn't very convincing to me.
122. Freelancer

My reference to logically examining the situation Egwene was in, was in no way an "out" for her choices. Go back and read my initial comments in this thread. She gets no special treatment from me. She gets the same treatment from me that every character gets; namely, that I don't overlay what I know about the situation onto what they should know about the situation. One of the biggest problems for the reader is thinking that the character knows all of the story that they know. Unfortunately, some authors write that way; Jordan was not one of them. His ability to retain the character in a posture of only what they could or did know about an issue at the time of their POV is unmatched.

Egwene doesn't know everything about the Black Tower situation, and she has a few dozen more important things on her plate right now, so it appears that she isn't planning on sending sisters to conduct that investigation either. Whether you or I believe that she should do X, has no value to the debate when she didn't, in fact, do X.

Her ignorance in this case leaves her unable to properly recognize the imbalance of the positions she and Rand hold vis-a-vis responsibility for undesirable events occurring. She is responsible for that inability, but it isn't fair to say that it's her fault, either, when higher priorities exist. It isn't as though she's had the luxury of disposable time on her hands.

Now, if you plan to continue referring to such a stance as "do no wrong" in Egwene's case, you'll have to accept that you're mistaken, just as you consider it excessive to be labelled a "rampant Egwene hater".

The Ninth Horse @121

Agreed. Being told "You'll not be harmed if you walk in the Light" has no value when their very reputation is for assuming that anyone not wearing their uniform is likely not walking in the Light. That's like a policeman stuffing you in a squad car and saying "I'll let you go if you're innocent", and makes it understood that he'll decide your innocence, which won't be too likely given that he already chose to detain you. (A purely hypothetical and conjured scenario ::nod::)
@122 While you've stated that your scenario regarding comment 121 was hypothetical, I'm quite sure you do know that...uhm...that happens ALLLLLL the time.

Just wanted to let any who didn't know... So that they know, you see.

Valentin M
124. ValMar
Alreadymad @ 120

I agree completely!

Freelancer @ 122

I agree that we should be careful as readers not to judge what characters do on the basis of what we know as opposed to what they know and do in-story. One example that comes to mind to me immediately is Gawyn's actions during Elaida's coup. Another is Egwene not asking Rand for help to tackle Mesaana. Both Eg and Gawyn had insufficient info.
But regarding Egwene's knowledge, or lack of, concerning the TAS mission to the BT- I don't think it absolves her of most of the flack she has been getting here. I expand on this @ 97. I believe on this issue she is biased (understandable) and unprincipled.
125. CorDarei
@122, Free.

"It isn't as though she's had the luxury of disposable time on her hands."

And Rand has had time? :)
Birgit F
126. birgit
Also, I don't think Morgase was calling just Perrin and Egwene the rival mercenary group, but also Elyas and the wolves.

Morgase and the Whitecloaks know nothing about Elyas being there. Morgase says Eg was the only other witness who could be questioned, and she isn't available. Perrin never says anything about him and sends him searching for gateways during the trial, so he can't say anything himself.
Eric Hughes
127. CireNaes

Well said. And I would go a little further with it. Morgase did very well in her ruling. She played to Galad's/Perrin's strengths (thinking things through) as well as Galad's weakness (absolute purity in decision making can be achieved with limited perspective). Her passing the ball to Galad bought the available time needed for Galad to observe Perrin. Galad would naturally gather more information to maintain his purity before rendering judgement. Morgase knew he would think things through to an amicable solution when she saw he hadn't completely drunk the KoolAid after their talk in Galad's tent.

So our hero's relationship moved away from animosity as Galad was able to observe Perrin in action. Perrin's future actions led Galad to the conclusion that his initial evidence was tainted by false witness/crazy perspective. Crisis averted, a cavalry saved, and a good military commander preserved. Not to mention the chance for reform of a good organization gone terribly wrong.
michael gaston
128. Ashenladoka
I only think its excessive due to the fact I hope she will change. Rampant haters wouldn't care and probably would hope she will die horribly. But call it what you will.
As far as "giving an out", unfortunately that is what you are doing but I'll be the first to say that it's no where NEAR as bad as others have done for her. But you have to admit, if your friend was suppose to pick you up for work and he is ALWAYS late, has never been on time, and he gets there late to pick you up, would you immediately say "oh there must have been traffic?" (Maybe sarcastically.) Especially if you knew his character? Knew that his alarm clock went off at a certain time? No in RL you would kick yoursself for showing up late or gripe at him because he knew this was important. Different examples, yes I know, but to say "well she just doesn't have time" or "she doesn't have all the facts" is giving her an out. Maybe you don't see it that way but it is. Responsibility is the key here and I'd easily say that AS being bonded to Asha would be pretty close to the top of my list to find out WTH happened here! These are Sisters basically in prison and she still has a group of SAS sitting outside the BT? What a waste of resourses. Numerous times we have had POV on her about the bonding so we know that she has thought about it several times and to assume that she just doesn't have time or sometime else isn't correct here. True I wish RJ or BS would have devoted a few words on it just so she gets the picture but would she believe Rand? Probably not. Does she accept Rand's gesture as stupid as it is? No again. And again she has proved what a arrogant person she is. Rand offered 1:1 and I would point out that this wasn't acceptable to her. So what does she want 2:1, 5:1, maynbe 20:1. Nothing will be acceptable other than the Dragon bowing down and begging for mercy to the mighty Egwene, knower of all things and mistress of all the world! (Maybe that comment is excessive but I was on a roll.)

So who will be able to clear the air on this? Only the sisters bonded, the sisters that sent them without slippery AS words which we know is almost impossible or Elaida and with Suian and Leane she could have easily got the truth by now.

And I do know that your less than pleased with her. Maybe not RAMPANT HATER, but it doesn't seem like she's one of your all time fav's either. Your comment was just a few above me and I just pointed up for example. But you do know that there are some here that will defend her to the fullest regardless if she started killing babies and torturing small animals to paraphrase Mat.

Reminds me of an old saying...If you have time to bitch you have time to stitch...Egwene should absolutely be trying to mend some fences here with Rand and at least he did make an effort that still seems stupid to me. Someone tries to rob and kill me I'll be damned if I'll give their sister a car for stopping the robber. Unfortunately she has drawn a clear line in the sand and I'm fairly sure that Rand is going to leap across it.

And if Cad's doesn't "girl I'll switch you" or slap Egwene for no manners, at least in private, I'm gonna be TICKED. I mean she did kidnap an Am Seat before so I doubt it's above her. But let's see if Cad's is really even handed or just a sexist bully too. I'm betting even handed but who knows until the last page is read.
Kimani Rogers
129. KiManiak
Bad_platypus@88 – re: whether Egwene was needed for battle in T’A’R – I never say Egwene wasn’t needed. Actually, I say in my post@20 that Egwene is the best person from the Tower for the job. You and I both also make the point that she seeks the aid of the Wise Ones, who we both think are as good if not better than her.

I think your taking my point about Egwene’s delusions of grandeur in relation to Rand and misinterpreting it to mean that I don’t think Egwene is capable. I think Egwene is incredibly capable. However, The Creator designated Rand as its Champion, so chances are that Rand is one of the best, if not the best, option when it comes to battling the Dark One and his minions. I don’t think Egwene is better than Rand. It seems that Egwene does think she is better than Rand. Hence, delusions of grandeur.

Wolfmage@96 – re: Amyrlin’s responsibility vs. the Dragon’s responsibility for the actions of their subordinates – I obviously agree, and think you said it a bit clearer (more clearly?) than I did.

As far as which office has more to apologize for, I admit that I haven’t really brought that up in my arguments on this post yet. However, I do think that kidnapping and torturing a sovereign while supposedly treating with them diplomatically (for which the Amyrlin is ultimately responsible), is a far worse crime than the self-defense-related-action of capturing opponents who invaded a population’s land with the intent of maiming and then killing that population (for which the Ashaman, and ultimately Rand, are responsible.

I don’t even think the 2 crimes are close in comparison.

JL@102 – re: your poll – Add me to the list of readers. My suggestion would be for no discussion of anything in the prologue until the whole book has been released. But, I’m sure Leigh will set the policy in her next post.

macster@104 – Yeah, it’s weird when we agree about the weaknesses or faults of Elayne and/or Egwene. I actually do appreciate your being a type of “check and balance” for me regarding my opinions on them. You usually bring up reasonable points that have me revisit my comments, and either solidify/strengthen or adjust/change my opinions. Usually I stick with them, but you do get me to think quite a bit. I hope I’ve gotten you to do the same.

Also I agree: no matter how much Egwene bugs me from time to time, I would never wish her to don the a’dam again. Actually, that’s still a difficult part of TGH for me to reread; I have often skipped those sections.

macster@105 – re: megalomania – Again, I’m focusing on the delusions of importance/grandeur (or the type of power/control/influence Egwene believes she has, if you prefer) aspect. I have yet to see anyone who questions my assertion of megalomania refute Egwene’s tendency to submit to delusions of power/grandeur/importance, which is all I’ve ever asserted Egwene’s megalomania entails (I wrote a post about it a few rereads ago, and linked to it in my comments@64, even).

I have never (to my recollection; please point out the relevant post if I’m wrong) stated that Egwene is driven to acquire power purely for power’s sake. That would be more Elaida, then Egwene.

But I think my terminology is fine. I find that when it’s disputed, people are choosing the definition that best suits their argument, and are not necessarily challenging the definition that supports mine. (Which is fine if that’s what you want; we can both be right that way.)

BMcGovern@109 – Thanks for the clarification on policy. I wasn’t aware that Leigh isn’t reading any of AMoL yet. So no referencing any of the previews so far; got it!

Ashen@115 – I do believe that Egwene did somewhat acknowledge that Rand had suffered torture and abuse. It has yet to impact on how she interacts with him, however. Also, I would love to read the scene where Egwene states what she thought the Sisters were doing near Black Tower grounds when they were captured and bonded by the Ashaman. Maybe Egwene really and truly believes they were just there to offer the White Tower’s welcome of the Ashaman to the channeling society, and were delivering baked goods as a welcoming gift? :P

CorDarei@125 – Yes, Rand’s been kind of busy too. Also, I find it humorous that some are trying to give Egwene a pass on exploring why the Ashaman had to bond Aes Sedai. The main reason she has no time to do this (aside from her plans to capture Mesaana) are centered around countering Rand, who (it could be argued) she is partially mad at (or at least doesn’t trust) due to his Ashaman bonding Aes Sedai.

So, Egwene: that is part of the reason why you don’t trust the Dragon and are working against him, but you are too busy to explore (or don’t want to explore) exactly what was done and why? You just want to be mad and hold that over him without trying to understand what happened? Like I've said before, childish.
@ Ashenladoka, KiManiak, Freelancer, CireNaes, Birgitte, master and others,

The thing I don't get is how some would think that what was done to the Tower AS can hold a candle to what Was done to Rand and what would have been done to the Ash'aman By the Tower AS. It's the level of wrongness that disturbs me more than who's culpable for what. The Tower Aes Sedai traveled to the Black Tower specifically to Murder the Ash'aman. There has to be a price to be paid for that. The price they did pay was beyond merciful. The price they paid was a response To the Towers actions. Which was an act of war.

Really, when you get right down to it, what the Tower would have done if they had been successful is commit a war crime. Genocide is what it would have been. Genocide is what they have been committing ever since the Breaking!

I know some will try and justify it as a necessary evil. And to be accurate Rand only recently cleansed the Saidin side of the One Power. So I can see some tiny bit of a moral out. But lets be clear that it was Murder that the Tower was about. What the Tower did to Rand was despicable. Bonding Aes Sedai is not even comparable. And it's not like it was against their will technically. They had a choice: Death- which is what they deserved or Bonding - which was purely a diplomatic Alternative. Edit- As well as being a more amicable solution for the Aes Sedai involved.

Eventually Egwene will have to come to some realization about what was done by the Tower. Because this was no individual or isolated group action. It was an officially sponsored action by the Tower against the Ash'aman. If the status quo stays the same, regarding the two organizations, after all is said and done- What diplomatic stance will need to be taken to mend the fences between the two? The first in my mind, would be the acknowledgement of what was done against the Ash'aman and some sort of apology would need to be made, at the very least. Because I can't see any cooperation happening between the two parties without at least that one gesture. I know I wouldn't.

Kimani Rogers
131. KiManiak
I’ve been thinking more about Egwene’s focus on “accountability.” Actually, Egwene may want to be careful about going down this road and trying to have the leader of an organization be responsible for their crimes. She definitely may want to be cautious about discussing the accountability of a leader for the actions of their subordinates.

If Rand so desires (and if Team Jordan were the type to take the plot off of its rails and turn the focus from Tarmon Gaidon and the end of the world into a more in depth look at the WoT international legal system, which I don’t believe Team Jordan is willing to do) Rand could spend part of the meeting at the Fields of Merrilor laying 4 major charges against the Tower:

1) Kidnapping and torture of the Dragon Reborn while under the auspices of diplomacy, by direct order of the Amyrlin

2) Trespassing, attempted maiming and attempted murder (or, would it be conspiracy to commit murder?) of all inhabitants of the Black Tower (including the non-channeling residents, I believe) by at least 50 Aes Sedai and members of the Tower Guard, by direct order of the Amyrlin

3) Kidnapping of the sovereign of Illian, by direct order of the Amyrlin

4) Kidnapping of the sovereign of Arad Doman, by direct order of the Amyrlin

Essentially, the White Tower, and ultimately the Amyrlin, is responsible for the kidnapping of 3 heads of state and the attempted murder of hundreds, if not thousands. If Rand wanted to make a case about the crimes the White Tower committed that Rand even knows about, that is…

(And to be fair, the Dragon Reborn has committed some acts bordering on international crimes himself:
-“invading” Caemlyn (although really saving it from Rahvin, and I believe he was absolved after the fact);
-“invading” Illian (although really saving it from Sammael, and again he received absolution and then was raised as the sovereign);
-“invading” Arad Doman (again, justified and receiving absolution afterwards); and
-“invading” Saldaea (sending Rodel to protect and save Maradon, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Bashere gave him authorization before the fact, and Tenobia almost certainly absolved him after the fact); etc.

The difference is that Rand has in some way either sought absolution, and/or engaged the representatives of those nations in dialogue regarding his actions. Rand even had justification to commit the actions that he did. Also, we know that internally Rand often feels remorse regarding his actions. Finally, in most cases, he is not intentionally causing the true residents harm or engaging them in battle; he’s usually trying to protect them)

There would be a number of sovereigns and leaders who would most likely have had to make judgments on actions of aggression and self-defense throughout their rule. I think it is also not too much of a stretch to point out that the reputation of bullying, deception and manipulation that the Aes Sedai have garnered over the years would probably leave them at a disadvantage in the eyes of the rulers of the Borderlands, Tear, Illian, Ghealdan, Mayene and Arad Doman. The Aiel would likely view the Amyrlin with disfavor if she was not willing to admit the Tower’s toh.

I believe that Egwene and the White Tower would be at a severe disadvantage (and would most likely not enjoy the results) if accountability for the crimes of channelers becomes a discussion topic at the Fields of Merrilor.

Just a thought for those who think the Amyrlin's accountability does not equal the Dragon's for the actions of their subordinates. They're right; hers far exceeds his.

EDIT: I see that Zexxes and I were thinking of somewhat similar topics (just from different angles) at about the same time.
michael gaston
132. Ashenladoka
KiManiak, Zexxes,
Very well put in both posts and what I've been saying all along too. There is not comparision between the two actions and no matter what anyone tries to say, for 3000 years the AS have been doing things like this. Rand was an idiot for allowing the bonding and I really hope he comes to his senses now he's all Zen to see that those AS were on a kill mission and the Asha were only defending themselves. With 3000 years of instinctual fear for male channelers on both sides I'm really surprised ANY of the AS made it through.

megalomania 1. a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. 2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.

I'd say that definition is very suited to what Egwene is doing. She is definately delusional to believe she is equal to Rand or Mat and Perrin for that matter. Rand fails/dies=game over, Mat or Perrin fails/dies=game over, She fails/dies=some cry, some cheer but we move on with barely a bump in the road. Maybe she really doesn't care about the wealth, really haven't seen that to glaringly in her character. As for power and omnipotence...well she wants all the power for sure. She made AS SWEAR fealty to her. Elaida never did that and I'm fairly sure almost everyone can agree that Elaida was power hungry. She wants equality with the HCIC which is beyond arrogance. She wants to control the WO, WF, and the Kin...more power for her.

obsession with grandiose..."we should use all our tools, but not Rand the possible best tool here." (obviously paraphrased and badly). She will rid the WT of Maasana not ask help from every source just the WO's that she likes. Thank the Light Perrin came around the corner and showed her how the dream really works or the crying and cheers would have been going right now. His example allowed her to defeat Maasana or she would have been owned by the a'dam that was placed around her neck.

She's going to be the fall of the WT if she doesn't make a course correction. Either Rand will put her in her place, the WO/WF/Kin collection will do it, Cad's is where I'm betting doing it. But she's headed off the cliff if she keeps going the way she is.

Excellent points on accountability. She may want to stay off that road. As far as The Dragon doing some border crossing...well he's sort of SUPPOSE to khammer the nations together and the only way he is able to is through beating the Forsaken up that were controlling the nations. He's doing that, not the AS in case some missed those chapters and without AS controlling him to boot!
Nadine L.
133. travyl
Kimaniak @131
Interessting list you composed of Rand's "crimes". I don't really wish to burden down Rand any further but reading your list got me thinking, especially because you listed the attempted murder of thousands in the BlackTower in the "Aes Sedai crimes".
I'm not really blaming Rand or suggest you should, I'm just curious why you left the following out and only said what you did.
- Rand leading an invasion of Aiel into Cairhien?
- Rand breaking the Aiel (by reavealing the past), which caused many to go over to the Shaido, who then captured thousands of wetlanders, made them gai'shain and forced them to wash dishes (and they didn't thrive on that chore as much as our wetlander does **winks**).
- Natrin's Barrow, ...

Freelancer and others (@91, 95, 122, 124 etc)
Like ValMar @124 I'd like to point out the comparison between Egwene and Gawyn (let's treat every character the same ):
When Egwene learned about the bonding she thought it abhorrent and as far as we know never questioned, if there might be mitigating facts. – Compare this to how "we" treat Gawyn for not questioning his belief of rumors and call him stupid for hanging on to his hatred for so long.
Rand breaking the Aiel isn't a crime. It's a shame that the Aiel have a problem with the truth. But how in the world can telling the truth be a crime? I mean I'm sure if you look around hard enough you can find an instance.... And so good luck with that!

Cairhein is somewhat of a necessary evil. And it's not like he killed thousands there and went around murdering people. Really, the only people he killed there were Darkfriends.

Now Natrins Barrow though, is truly debatable. Could the Compelled there have been saved? Was there any other way of getting at Graendal without killing all within and without spooking her into running? Hard to say and so much more. But a crime? I would go so far as to say it was questionable activities during wartime efforts. Merciless? Oh yes. A crime? I don't know.
Edit- I remember Rand considering what he did at Natrins Barrow a mercy. So let's say it was Ruthless instead. Although Rand's mindset was a little corrupted by....whatever that was.

135. Wookster125
Don't forget that Rand burned down the Illuminators' compound in Cairhien. That could be seen as a crime as well.
Rand Has burned down a Lot of things! :-)

Glen V
137. Ways
Well, I'm late to the comment party again. I have, however, been following the discussions in this thread as time permits in the wee hours. I'm fascinated with the pro/con Egwene topic in particular. I've never been a huge Egwene fan - being pretty much neutral about her. She certainly does have many a MOA to her credit. Right or wrong, she makes decisions, and has the courage of her convictions, which I applaud. So, I'll give her 3 check marks in the pro column. OTOH, she is manipulative in the extreme, a spin doctor, and may well be power-hungry (the latter is not completely clear to me yet). These qualities earn her at least a couple of checks in the con column. in my opinion. There are more arguments upthread that give her more check marks in both columns.

I'm very surprised that no one has jumped on this quote from TOM that Leigh inserted at the beginning of her blog:
“I’ll admit you have a valid concern,” Egwene said. “Ever since I let myself get captured by Elaida’s cronies outside of Tar Valon, I’ve wondered if I become too directly involved, too directly in danger.” (emphasis mine)
I can't see how the part about Egwene letting herself be captured is anything but spin, and re-read the end of CoT Chap. 30 to be sure. I don't recall any evidence anywhere that Egwene knew, or even suspected, that she would be captured. So this is yet another example of Egwene manipulating history to her benefit.

I firmly believe cross training between WO, WF and AS is inherently a really good concept. It can only help during the LB if there is time to accomplish it, and it is a good idea in general. However, if Egwene is only trying to build her power base by moving the idea forward, then boo, hiss (I don't personally think that is the whole story).

I also believe that Ashenladoka@133 is correct in saying Egwene is headed for a cliff and needs a course correction soon. It would be very cool if Cadsuane provides it.

So, I'm still neutral (to negative) on Egwene. I'm sure my opinion about her will be swayed one way or the other immediately before Jan. 31, 2013.

Finally, regarding Rand's and Egwene's culpability for war crimes, inheirited or otherwise...IMO Rand gets a free pass because he is the Creator's Champion and HCIC. Period. Egwene should apologize to Rand for Elaida's conspiracy to capture him and be done with it.
Cameron Tucker
138. Loialson
Bah!!! Brandon is doing a signing and I'll be an hour away! If I can make it, does anybody have some questions for him? I can't guarantee I'll get there in time, but I'll try.

P.S I also posted this in the spoiler Prologue thread, for those who want to ask spoilery questions RE: prologue.
Nadine L.
139. travyl
Ways @137:
I never had a problem with Egwene's quote: I'll write for you, what she is silently thinking, but leaves out when saying it:
“Ever since I **was clumsy enough to** let myself get captured by Elaida’s cronies outside of Tar Valon ....

Loialson @138, in case you make it, to the signing...
Did Rand know/tell Darlin to write, what he did in answer to Egwene’s call for a unison to face Rand at the field of Merrilor?
Eric Hughes
140. CireNaes

Drive safe. Please ask him why there are stylisitic differences in how the three Ta'veren's abilities present themselves (e.g., the dice in Mat's head). Is it just to enhance the cool factor for the reader or does the personality of the Ta'veren come into play?
Glen V
141. Ways
travyl @139
You may very well be correct in your "take" on Egwene's statement! It makes perfect sense to interpret it that way, but that is not the way it was written. The statement, as written, is somewhat ambiguous and I had the impression it could also have meant that Egwene wanted Siuan and Nynaeve to start thinking she let herself be captured intentionally, which was definitely not the case (even though the final result of her capture had a positive outcome).

The statement would have been disambiguated if she had said: "Ever since I was captured...". BS/RJ certainly were aware of this subtle difference. Perhaps the statement (as written) just slipped through the proverbial cracks with other editing oversights in this particular book. My devil's advocate role here is likely due to the fact that I'm a bit anti-Egwene at this moment. I do hope my sentiments change after AMOL is released.

I admit to being very nitpicky and rambling on about something that is small in the big scheme of things. {NB - That never happens in these threads :-)} It's not likely to sway other's opinions about Egwene much.

Oooh, square brackets don't work.
Glen V
142. Ways
Loialson @138
You mean the one in Orem at 4 PM today? Good luck and drive safely. I wish Brandon would do a signing somewhere that's only an hour away from me.
Eric Hughes
143. CireNaes
Alright everyone. I think we need to take a frank look at Egwene from start to finish.

Egwene Al'Vere...here is your life!

The Wheel's giftings: Born fairly well off belonging to a family of position (Mayor's daughter), excellent memory, quick study, pretty, found to have the "talent" by Nyneave (later expounded on as strong channeler by Moiraine), strong Dreamer, and driven towards being the best around.

Significant life events: Almost dies of fever at a young age, chosen as the Wisdom's apprentice, on the lamb with Moiraine and company to include several Shadow Spawn attacks, Shadar Logoth, Hitchcock's The Birds, Whitecloak captivity, Machin Shin in the Ways, first live Forsaken confrontation, knocked in the noggin by Fain (memory loss), becomes Novice at the White Tower (significant achivement), tricked by Black Ajah member, collared by Seanchan (extended significant trauma with lasting nightmares, which goes a long way towards explaining her glare at Nyneave for being associated with any kind of abusive captivity scenario), sent to hunt the Black Ajah, nearly killed by a Gray Man, Accepted Test (significant trauma combined with major achievement), kidnapped by Fades (compounds captivity trauma), captured by Black Ajah (compounds captivity trauma), immobilizes captors (empowerment moment), discloses the twisted red doorway to Rand to help him make a decision, becomes quasi Wise One apprentice (significant achievement), fights Trollocs in the Waste, fights Forsaken in TAR (hmmm...not the first time ever confronting a Forsaken in TAR then, isn't that a pleasent surprise?), fights Shaido in significant land battle, knocked down in tower by Sammael (somewhat traumatic), absolutely stomped into the ground by Lanfear (head injury), begins to let loyalties align with the White Tower by not helping Rand with information request, still protective of Rand when confronted by her type of guy, falls in love with a prince (achievement befitting her social ascension), made a puppet Amyrlin and turns things around by following Siuan's teachings (huge achievement), successfully interrogates/intimidates a Forsaken (ethically questionable achievement, but impressive nonetheless), arranges Logain's secret release despite his history (mercy achievement), mind massaged by Halima (icky trauma), singlehandedly skyrockets Tower enrollement by significant amount (achievement), captured again...sigh, socially rediculed, lashed, and imprisoned all the while working to improve the White Tower and successfully defending it against attack (growth trauma, Rand empathy rises as she is exposed to Elaida's crazy too, major achivement), successfully executes a good portion of the Black Ajah (major achievement), reunites the White Tower (major achievement), seriously stomps Mesaana into the ground (major achievement), kills several Black Ajah (major achivement), and almost assasinated.

So there we have it. Now I can see how someone like her would feel she is on par with Rand Al'Thor from the Two Rivers in traumatic experience, achievements, and as the ruler of a nation. Egwene makes a lot of sense and is really quite a decent human being.

Edit: For grammar.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
Yeah, I’m with travyl on this one. You can either read it like "I purposely allowed myself to be captured by Elaida" spin (as Ways did) or "I was foolish/clumsy enough to get caught" (as travyl did). I've always read it as the latter, in part because of Egwene’s thoughts during the carriage ride when she heard about Leane’s trick with disguising her ability to channel and having her weaves prepared and inverted ahead of time. “Oh, clever Leane!” and Egwene kicks herself for not having thought of it. It’s yet another situation in which Egwene takes personal responsibility for things, even things that might not have been entirely hers to control, because she sees it as a direct result of her actions or choices. “You do what you want, and you pay for it.” Egwene doesn’t try to shift the blame for her own actions to someone else, although in the past she’s certainly been willing to distract someone (Nynaeve) from her own actions by pointing out what the other was doing wrong. (Anyone here not done that, ever in their life? Anyone? Didn’t think so.) Which also reflects on her initial reluctance to take the blame for the bonding issue, because there's no way that can be construed to be a result of her actions.

Speaking of which ... as far as I can tell, Elaida's declaration that "I AM Tower Law!" was only heard by Alviarin. While it was obvious to everyone that Elaida was suffering severe megalomania, the only thing most of the AS saw was the effect of her actions on individual sisters and later, the WT as a whole. I don't think any of them realized that she had gone quite so far beyond Tower law in external affairs as she did with regard to the Black Tower.

(For those who would extend that to her dealings with Rand, most of the AS wouldn't have seen her orders re: Rand as unlawful. That's what you do with men who can channel: you bring them to the Tower. Remember, all that was pre-cleansing, when the men were still fully susceptible to the taint madness. The box-stuffing and beating was Galina's decision, not Elaida's orders, but when word of the whole debacle reached the Tower, it had a rather adverse effect on Elaida's authority, since she was the one who had sent the delegation.)

Back to the bonding issue: Having gone back and read that section yet again, I find no reason to think that anyone currently in the Tower ever had the faintest idea what Toveine’s orders actually entailed. By Tower law and tradition, their orders should have been to shield and capture any male channelers they found and bring them back to the White Tower for proper handling, as established (and necessary!) protocol has been for nearly 3000 years. As far as I can prove, the only people who knew Toveine’s actual illegal orders, to gentle and hang every man she found, were: Elaida, Alviarin and Toveine, as well as (perhaps) the other 49 sisters who went. (Do we have evidence that she had actually told them before they got there?) From the tone of things, I would surmise that the other sisters were probably not told until they were on the way, if then; though I don’t think the operation was sent off entirely in secret, I’m pretty sure there would have been more of a ruckus if everyone knew about the illegal orders.

No, I have no direct proof of this, but I find no evidence of anyone still in the Tower who knew, either. If someone can find evidence that anyone (especially anyone outside the Red Ajah!) knew the specifics, by all means share with us. One of the supports for my conclusion, though, is that in that same conversation where they discuss sending Toveine, Elaida says (of channeling men found by the WT), “Just twenty-four in the last twenty years.” Alviarin reminds her, and Elaida doesn’t disagree even in her thoughts, that “Twenty-four is a dangerous number… The Chronicles record only sixteen.” The idea that eight men were gentled (aside from the hanging order) without being brought back to the Tower would create an uproar, and if Elaida’s part in it were known, she’d be unseated before she could blink – and they both know it.

Barring that knowledge, then, why would Egwene logically spend time and effort to look for extenuating circumstances for the Asha’man? Granted that we know Toveine was planning to murder them all (though she didn’t expect to find more than a handful – oops!), her mission should have been to shield and capture them. Anyone would expect them to resist (which is part of why the AS had all those Tower Guards with them), but refusing to be shielded and captured by the AS is not the same thing as capturing and bonding them. (No one outside the BT had any knowledge of Rand’s orders not to harm the AS, which was in part what led to them thinking of the bonding solution instead.)

Had the Asha’man simply shielded and captured the AS, I’m sure the Tower would have been extremely miffed, but the logic would be hard to avoid. Rendering them incapable of further harm is one thing; bonding them against their will, and in a very real sense enslaving them, is another issue entirely. I think it will all turn out to be a good thing in the end, but I do think those women deserve the chance to be released from the bond if they wish it. It’s really not much better than a Seanchan leash, except that they aren’t (that we’ve seen) forced to channel against their will in the same way, and they aren’t (quite) treated as subhuman.

In other news… Apparently someone has accused others of believing that Egwene can do no wrong. That’s completely asinine, and I don’t recall reading anything on these discussions that would justify such an accusation. Of course she does the wrong thing sometimes; she’s supposed to be human, after all, and a human functioning with less than complete information. That was, after all, one of RJ’s main ground rules: we all have less than complete information, but we have to do the best we can anyway. It’s a bummer for people like doctors and world leaders, because lives – and deaths – may depend on their decisions, but that’s the way life is. Along with less-than-perfect information, Egwene suffers from her own blind spots and personal prejudices, just like every other character. (Just like everyone here, for that matter.) My argument is, and has always been, that she’s doing the best she can under the circumstances, and that her decisions are perfectly understandable and defensible under the circumstances.

Which brings me to… macster: Why should I have to take sides, even if there’s an actual confrontation between Egwene and Cadsuane? They’re both functioning under the rules outlined above, and as long as it’s written properly, I will be perfectly capable of defending them both, even if they clash. My sympathies may lie more with Cadsuane these days, but as long as they both stay in character, I don’t see a need for taking sides.

Oh, and Ways: I don’t give anyone a free pass, no matter what their responsibility or experience is. As has been very clearly shown, when Rand tried the “free pass” route, things got really bad; it’s only when he takes his humanity and the resultant responsibility for what it is that he can become the true Champion of the Light. Yes, I can understand why he reacted as he did, and I can defend the rationale for his behavior, without ever saying it was the right thing to do, or that he should get a free pass because he’s under stress. By that logic, I should be able to do a verbal bazooka on anyone here any time I feel like it, and I should get a free pass because I’m under stress. Is that what happens? Not even close. (And for those who think I’ve been harsh sometimes… You ain’t never seen a true verbal bazooka.)

Last one: KiManiak – Nope, you haven’t convinced me and you never will. You claim that Egwene is a megalomaniac because she suffers from delusions of power and importance. The reason I don’t buy this is that she has great power and importance; there is no delusion involved. She is, in fact, the leader of the most powerful, most organized, longest-standing channeling organization in the world. In addition, she has created ties with the three other longest-standing channeling groups in the world, ties which are resulting in unprecedented cooperation among the female channelers of the Waste, the Westlands and the seas. There are a few others who have influential supporting ties to those groups, but Egwene is the one who has the leadership here. How exactly is that “delusional”? I realize that you don’t think the WT is as important as they think they are; I disagree. I think they are more important than they are yet prepared to be, which is a danger to the world at large, and I hope that with greater cooperation – and, hopefully, cooperation with a cleansed Black Tower removed from the influence of the DO – they can come closer to what they should be by the time it matters.

Is Egwene as important to the Pattern as Rand? No, and I don’t think she has any delusions about that either. Does she fully trust him to bear the responsibility in the way that will most benefit the whole world? Obviously not. Has she seen in him anything that would lead her to that trust? Not much, other than the potent effect he had on everyone during his visit to the WT; that and his “position” as the Dragon Reborn are hardly enough to balance all the information she’s received about his erratic behavior, her own observations of him flailing around earlier, and his most recent apparently-baseless announcement that he’s going to do what everyone “knows” will give the DO even more influence over the world. It’s not like she thinks she’s the only person who has a good plan and he should shut up and follow her plan; she’s just terrified that he’s making terrible decisions for everyone.

Again: we know that this is a story, and Rand will of course do the right thing because that’s the kind of story RJ was writing, and the Dragon Reborn will save the world and all that. You betcha. But they’ve never dealt with a Dragon Reborn before, and not all the prophecies are very nice. As the de facto leader of the (free) channeling women of the world, it’s not “delusions of importance” to think that she is obligated to attempt to provide a balance, and if necessary an obstruction, if it looks like he’s leaning more toward the “destroy us all” side than the “save us” side.
Sandy Brewer
146. ShaggyBella
I finally caught up on this thread. I guess i know now that WOT actually means "Wall Of Text."

Anyhow, I think it would be interesting if Nyneave chances to delve Egwene and finds evidence of Halima's and/or Fain's compulsion and/or taint.
That could answer a few questions about her actions. Also isn't Egwene two years younger than Rand, Mat & Perrin? So is maybe 21 years old. Still very young for all she has done. No wonder the AS are giving her a hard time about her leadership.
Sandy Brewer
147. ShaggyBella
In TSR, when Perrin frees Gaul, between the two of them they kill 12 WC. Most were Gauls kills but some were Perrins, with his axe. If they had any CSI WCs, they would know some were killed by an axe. Good thing Byar never learned of that, or knew Perrin had been in that village.
I don't think Perrin ever owned up those deaths.
148. alreadymadwithegwene
To my knowledge Egwene does not know Toveine's orders. She can assume the Sisters were sent there to scout the Asha'man out, or open relations or perhaps even try to capture them. Given her experience dealing with male channelers and their innate strength the last one is highly unlikely. Still I doubt she knows Toveine's orders amount to extrajudicial executions.
Even Toveine's companions did not know.
Glen V
149. Ways
ShaggyBella @146
WOT = Wall of Text , excellent.

Wet @144
Just noticed the statement was ambiguous and wondering why no one else picked up on it in this thread. The ambiguity could simply be due to the TOM editing gremlin, as noted. I'm not an Egwene-hater (!!), but I am a little disappointed with her right now for not investigating a few things further, given her resources as Amyrlin. Maybe the investigations are going on off-screen and we haven't seen the results yet.

Rand doesn't get a free pass because he is under stress (nor would you, XD), and he can't use it to duck responsibility, only certain accountabilities that were under discussion up-thread. I hope that makes sense, but I can't detail further right now b/c I have to get dinner started. We may have to agree to disagree on this one. Discuss over a glass of wine??

You are still my hero (as noted on the prologue spoiler thread), b/c you get the brain juices flowing.
Alice Arneson
150. Wetlandernw
Ways @149 - Yes, it's one of those things that could be read either way, and mostly depends on how you're feeling about things the first time you read it, I think. As I said, I read it under the assumption that it's one of those things that, while it worked out well in the end, she knew shouldn't have happened if she'd taken the right precautions.

More discussion after dinner. :) We're having homemade hard cider tonight. Want some?
Eric Hughes
151. CireNaes
Thanks, Wet.

I find Egwene to be interesting. She actively seeks excellence and doesn't shy away from leadership opportunities (after all her father was Mayor so what's wrong with being in charge?). She has a weak spot for emotionally unstable pretty boys (Rand/Aram/Gawyn). She doesn't run from responsibility. Her great achievements, combat track record, surviving/escaping POW experiences, and going through a militaryesque training regimen has all made her cocky. Of course it has. I expect that to come down a few notches if she lives past her early 20's. Her strive to be the best does drive where her loyalties lie, but she's always improved the organizations that she's been in, she's never joined the dark side, and she cried when Tam almost died in tEoTW, so that one doesn't really bother me.

Her Two River's upbringing will naturally color how she interacts with Rand. Much like it does with Mat and Perrin. I think it fascinating when you compare her first encounter as Amyrlin with Mat as opposed to Rand. How you see gender rolls while growing up tends to do that sort of thing. And following Nynaeve around during her formative years certainly didn't help. The Two River's typical day to day governance where men keep to men's business while women keep to women's business will inform her view of Rand and his leadership of the Black Tower (read Village Council). I don't think she gets enough credit for letting Logain go either.

Do I think Rand is playing her in a politically savvy LTT way? Definitely. Do I think her reaction to Rand's statements were warranted based on the information she had and her current level of position and professionalism. Certainly. Do I think Rand still has the ability to "kill the goat" when it comes to getting an emotional response from Egwene. Man, does he. Now more than ever with an additional 3oo years of life under his belt.

Is Egwene perfect? No, but she has performed well for her age and her upbringing. In large part due to great mentors and parents combined with natural aptitude. Is Rand perfect? No. But he performed well too considering the taint slick on his brain and his anxiety/depression at slowly going mad. He had great mentors all around him, but by withdrawing in a misguided attempt to protect, he didn’t benefit or perform nearly as much as he should have. This makes sense due to the Kinslayer subconscious push combined with the Exxon Valdez sized taint spill all over his brain. No surprise, having handled the Choden Kal and Calandor on several occasions at a high capacity plus his dabbling with the TP as the Dragon (which I believe hurt his soul more than anything).

Does Rand get a bit of a pass for his actions due to an insanity defense? That one is hard for me. Part of me says yes, but part of me says no. If he had integrated earlier then his LiteBrite would have helped shield him from the adverse effects of the taint. It was Rand’s interpersonal responsibility to get it together on a spiritual and emotional level. He made it harder than it needed to be. Which I think is very understandable, but not excusable. Why? Because he grew up in a fantastic community with an excellent father and he was born with an amazing level of natural aptitude to aid his potential for success. All that and he couldn’t talk to anybody about the fear of going insane. Are you crazy, man? Everybody knows you could go nuts, but they still hang around you, many of them voluntarily. What more of a green light do you need for sharing your internal angst? I would love to have seen a parallel world where Rand reunites with Tam at a much earlier juncture. Probably wouldn’t have needed 3 women to help him “manage” his stress level.

It’s getting late. I like Rand, I feel for the guy, and I wanted him to do so much better than he did. Part of that I blame on Moiraine (although I think she was largely responsible for Rand’s political acumen). He would have done well with Cadsuane if the majority of the other bad Aes Sedai experiences hadn’t helped to push him over the edge. Being bonded against his will, maneuvered by Moiraine, and psychologically scared of being put in a box. But Rand, just stop it! Don't do that! You want to have relationships don't you? Then stop isolating yourself. You want to save the world, don't you? Then stop it!

Good thing he finally did, huh? Although the whiners over on the release date thread for AMOL would have finally rejoiced at the series being done since Rand would have shish kebobed the Pattern by the end of TGS.
Cameron Tucker
152. Loialson
So the signing got a few good answers. The biggest ones being:

The dice in Mat's head are a manifestation of his taveren nature, not because of his experience in Sindhol (Finnland).

Perrin's visions in the wolf dream are partially a manifestation of his taveren nature, but part other things. Perrin draws to him what he needs. Its a gift of sorts, like Mats is luck (or at least thats what Brandon seemed to be inferring). Thats part of what differentiates his ability from Egwene's. Her gift is manifested from The one power, his from taveren gifts, blended with wolf brother traits. Bit more complex.

Brandon does not know why Hopper was unable to see Perrin's visions that appeared in the sky in TAR, as there were no Notes as to they why of the wolves lack of seeing, just that they dont.

We will see more of Demandred later. He told me more, but I had to swear to keep mum about it(nothing earth shattering, but you'll understand why he asked me to later).

Anything re:the prologue I will post in the spoiler thread.

I'll probably post a transcript in a week or so, when fall break happens from school.

Again please be forgiving of my typos, Im posting this from a tablet., with limited text editor options
153. Freelancer
Travyl @133

You are correct, and I tend to give Gawyn much more leeway than do others. I do try to treat every character the same way. I have my favorites, but they get no different analysis for their actions. Perrin's choices are almost always logical from a perspective it is within his nature to take. His choices, while disagreeable to many readers, are always reasonable, and honorable, to his personality. So are Gawyn's, so are Egwene's. Nynaeve and Mat, the two characters who carry the largest audience as "favorites", are those I find most consistently hypocritical in their behaviors. Interesting that the thing I see most disagreeable about each is their sexist predilections.

CireNaes @143

Indeed, those events are all valid and serve to inform the person Egwene has become. But it does fail to identify her own minor blind spots. From day one, she has been a person who doesn't give proper respect to authority, or who deflects from her own issues:

~ Joins the boys leaving Emond's Field "to have an adventure", and threatens to give them away if they don't allow her along.

~ As a novice, practices channeling in ways she has been told to avoid without supervision.

~ Beginning on the road to Tear, passes herself as an Aes Sedai(a reasonable act at the time, and under Siuan's orders to hunt the Black Ajah, a needed benefit). Continues the lie with the Aiel, because Aviendha already believed her a sister.

~ As an Aiel Wise One apprentice, walks the Dream unsupervised, against direct orders. Lies about doing so.

~ Puts Nynaeve on the defensive to avoid anyone learning of her disobedience, discovers it to be an effective method of manipulating the Wisdom, continues employing it.


She is not without fault, but she is also one who has accomplished an incredible amount in favor of the Light, and for all those actions named above, she has accepted responsibility and whatever negative consequences went along with correcting for her lies.

She absolutely is not interested in ruling over people for its own sake. She is nothing like Elaida. In fact, the very stubborness through which she ends up misstepping as noted above, makes her able to gracefully deal with the humiliation and punishments Elaida metes out to her, and to be winning her inside battle for the Tower.
Jay Dauro
154. J.Dauro

You may want to add that she has a tendency to not listen when others try to present facts/opinion contrary to hers. Gawyn's evidence that the attacks do not appear to be made by channelers. Nyneave's start to suggest they ask Rand for help or advice.

We also have seen her get angry at Rand for telling her a truth she doesn't believe (Elayne is the Daughter-Heir of Andor.) Later she discovers he was telling the truth, but we never see an apology. In a similar manner, she discounts the boy's claims that the Trollocs came for them on Winternight. When she discovers this is true, she never apologizes.

And I am sorry, but I am not Aiel. When someone lies to me, it takes a bit more than taking a beating to make me trust them in the future.

There are times when I admire Egwene, there are times when I want to slap her. Much the same as most of the other characters in WOT.

Ways @137
I always feel that statements like this are meant by RJ/BWS to be ambiguous. Makes it more fun.

Okay, here is one of my big questions, it comes from TGS. When Egwene fights at the Tower, why did she use the big obvious Fireballs, etc.? She is trying to bring down winged creatures, similar to bats. Pretty much any damage to the wing will knock them out of the sky. So why not use blades of air with an inverted weave. To'raken start falling, and no one can see why. There is time later to move to the big guns, if required. Of course, she may not have thought of it. She does have a good deal of anger toward he Seanchen, and this may not be as fufilling.
I have never been a Egwene hater. She is frustrating (what woman isn't :male perspective :-) ). She can be dense. She can be stubborn bordering on being obtuse.
And she has a keen ability to underestimate.

But she is also very intelligent. She is strong of will. But not willfully so. She quickly assesses her mistakes and rights them just as prudently. Though she is unapologetic, she does try to ease that through action rather than words. And she has a keen ability to not only persevere when the shan hits the fit, but she does so with a level of confidence and pure awesomeness that even Rand has yet to compare to.

These and many other qualities, make up a personality that I wouldn't mind knowing. She is the most human, the most real of all of the characters in this series, including Mat (who is a close second). It's why she's so divisive.

Gawyn on the other hand I too am quick to judge. He is way more stubborn, infuriating, obtuse and...Don't get me started. BUT, he Is honorable. He is intelligent. He is caring. He is considerate to some degree. And he is very observant. And his level of awesome while compared to his negative aspects is still lacking, it is one incredulity. No one still wants to give him his due when it comes to his one virtue that makes him formidable. And most that do give him his due, do so grudgingly. But what he has done is on a level that severely exceeds expectations. Destroying Sleete surviving a first encounter with a BK WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT WAS and then going on to defeat THREE BK WHO ARE INVISIBLE. Well let's just say he's badass with a sword and stop there on that.

I would say that what both of them suffer from, obviously, is there lack of acumen with regards to listening or even stopping to consider after they've listened. But the lack these qualities for two completely different reasons. Gawyn? He's a Prince. He has a problem with following orders. Especially from those he's determined to protect. Egwene? She has a problem with respecting the wisdom that someone other than herself can give. Especially those who are close to her. And she does have a know it all, I know best complex. But that isn't entirely her fault given the hand she's been dealt so many times.

All in all, I wouldn't mind befriending either one of them. They are both good people! And who among us doesn't have as many if not more character flaws?

Eric Hughes
156. CireNaes

I agree. She has always had a problem with pride and disregarding personal safety for the sake of excellence (almost like a star athlete not giving her body room to recover because she doesn't believe her coach has developed a regimen that properly reflects her ability and drive). I'm convinced that these are age dependent character growth points, which will become less of an issue with time. Much like Rand's.

Regarding the Aiel lie. That was an immature girl thrown into a covert operation without the experience of knowing when to quit. Then paying for it in an effort to salvage a relationship with the Wise Ones. I thought she did fairly well recovering from that one.
Glen V
157. Ways
Wet @150
Hard cider would be great. Thanks for the offer! Hope you saved some as I didn't have a chance to get back here after dinner last night. My wife and I pretty well demolished a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and a Chateau St. Michelle Riesling. There's 1 pour of the Riesling left - sending it through the bunker to you now. It's getting cooler on the East Coast these days and we'll probably switch back to reds soon.

Loialson @152
Thanks for posting the responses from BWS!

CireNaes @151, Free @153, JDauro @154 and Zex @155
You are all making good points and I like the way (all) y'all think. I chalk it up to the masterful storytelling abilities of RJ (and BWS) - character growth throughout the series, human failings etc. etc., it's all there and superbly done.

JDauro @154's big question
Your suggestion on taking out the *raken is great. The "Why not?" could be explained simply by Egwene's lack of experience wielding Saidar. Yes, she is very good and has learned much since she left Emond's Field (in case anyone gets the idea I'm hating on her). I expect, however, that she will be much more knowledgeable about the nearly infinite assortment of weaves possible after another 100 years or so practicing and learning (hopefully from WF, WO and the Kin).
Kimani Rogers
158. KiManiak
Ashen@132 – I agree with some of your points, disagree with a few others. I don’t think Egwene wants all the power per se, I just think she tends to be hypocritical when it comes to people respecting her power/authority and her respecting others’ power/authority. I do agree that Perrin reminds Egwene that balefire and all One Power weaves are not the strongest ability in the Dream; it’s a person’s will.

travyl@133 – I listed what I thought were the 4 most obvious “international crimes.”
1) As for Rand’s entering into Cairhien, remember that Rand and his allies were trailing the Shaido. Also, representatives of Cairhien invited Rand and his allies to enter Cairhien to save the people from the Shaido.
2)Rand’s breaking of the Aiel isn’t a crime. As others have mentioned, Rand just told the Aiel the truth. Blaming Rand for the actions of the Shaido after that doesn’t hold water. I don’t absolve Couladin and Sevanna for their actions. They are the ones who committed the crime.
3) Natrin’s Barrow. This is one of his more questionable actions, but I didn’t list it with the others because this wasn’t a separate invasion of Arad Doman. By this time, he was already acting with the knowledge (though maybe not the full support) of the existing ruling body. Also, he was battling an enemy Forsaken, and to his knowledge, he eliminated one (which he did, just not the one that he thought).

Ways@137 – I agree with those that don’t have an issue with Egwene’s wording, here. In Egwene’s mind, her mistake or lack of planning led to her being captured. In that sense, she “let” herself get captured. Is it “spin?” Sure, it is. She’s taking the blame for her actions, but she’s also not giving the credit to the Tower Aes Sedai who caught her. Both of which is typical of Egwene. But I don’t think she was trying to manipulate Siuan and Nynaeve into believing that Egwene “allowed” herself to be captured in order to let her actions be looked upon more favorably after the act.

EDIT: Did we ever find out who betrayed the plan (and Egwene) to the Tower Aes Sedai?

CireNaes@143 – Interesting grouping of events. I think you’ve excluded how she has treated Rand, Mat, Perrin and Nynaeve, who assisted in some of her achievements. I also think you excluded: saved from collaring by Nynaeve (who she later manipulates to protect herself from being exposed for disobeying the Wise Ones), saved by Mat from the Stone (who she later bullies and manipulates), is saved by Rand from further injury when knocked down in tower by Sammael, her deception of the Wise Ones, the Foraken that she was interrogating was actually apprehended and initially interrogated by others, her forcing Aes Sedai to swear fealty to her, her attempting to gather nations to challenge and possibly fight the Champion of the Light, and a few other specifics. Not to mention that a number of those major achievements were done with significant assistance. (And I see that Freelancer@153 and JDauro@154 have already brought up some of these points).

All of this should allow her to feel that she is on par with Rand? Highly debatable.

Oh, and I also think that all of our Superkids are decent human beings (even Elayne; she’s just really stupid at times).
Kimani Rogers
159. KiManiak
Wet@144 – “Nope, you haven’t convinced me and you never will.” Interesting statement; I think I understand your continued stance on Egwene, now. Mat is one of my favorites and it’s doubtful that anyone could convince me that Mat’s actions aren’t ultimately effective and amusing; I will also argue some of his flaws feed into or complement his strengths. I understand if Egwene’s one of your favorites and no matter what criticism I or anyone else offers, you refuse to be convinced of her flaws or deficiencies that don’t correspond with your favored view of her, and I appreciate your finally saying as much. Although I’ll keep pointing out her flaws, definciencies and inconsistencies, I will stop playfully trying to recruit you to the “Egwene is wrong” side, as you’ve stated that it doesn’t matter what is said, you’re locked into your favored view of her. Own your favorites, I say! :-)
(And if you've already done that and I've missed it, then my bad!)

However, I’ll continue to refute your points, when called for. At this point in the story, Egwene has not “created ties with the three other longest-standing channeling groups in the world. “ I gather you mean the Wise Ones, the Windfinders and the Kin (and definitely not the Seanchan)? Um, no. She is loosely affiliated with the Wise Ones and has their respect, but they would argue strongly against any ties with the Tower, at this point. If anything, they have stronger ties to the Dragon Reborn, what with him being the Car’a’carn and all. Egwene has essentially no ties to the Windfinders at this point in time. Again, the Windfinders have stronger ties to the Dragon Reborn; he is their Coramoor. Finally, the Kin. She does have loose ties to them (of the retirement type, I believe), but since they are not a well known and respected organization (outside of, possibly, Ebou Dar) this doesn’t seem to add much to the prestige or importance of the Amyrlin and the White Tower. Plus, the White Tower already knew about (and didn’t care about) the Kin, to a degree.

So Egwene has “leadership,” as you put it, on only the Kin, maybe (and are we sure that they know that?), but not in any possible way over the Wise Ones or the Windfinders. She most definitely is not “the de facto leader of the (free) channeling women of the world.”So, no, the “power” and “importance” that you allude to does not exist. Except in Egwene’s mind. If it’s only in Egwene’s mind, then that is a delusion, my friend.

Also, having some power and importance does not automatically exclude people from delusions of grandeur, power and importance. In America, if a Governor thought they had more power and were more important than the President, then we would (rightfully) accuse them of having delusions of grandeur. Reflect on any action that a governor has taken that broaches on federal authority or jurisdiction (quick –and somewhat extreme- examples: Governor Faubus vs President Eisenhower in Arkansas in 1957 and Governor Wallace vs. President Kennedy in Alabama in 1963, both regarding the integration of schools). If they thought their power and opinions trumped that of the President and the federal governments, they were suffering from delusions of grandeur (and a need to posture, probably).

So, although Egwene“is, in fact, the leader of the most powerful, most organized, longest-standing channeling organization in the world,” that doesn’t mean that she can’t suffer from delusions of grandeur, power and importance. Um, Elaida held the same position as Egwene. Elaida clearly suffered from megalomania, both of the power-hungry and the delusions of grandeur type. Being Amrylin doesn’t exempt or magically protect Egwene from her delusions of grandeur.

And Wetlander, all of this doesn’t distract from what is essentially your main argument when trying to defend Egwene’s accountability for the aforementioned actions. You are still arguing, in essence, that since Egwene wasn’t aware of, nor directly authorized, the specifics of the offending actions, that Egwene shouldn’t be held accountable for them. Sorry, that isn’t an acceptable defense for Rand and it isn’t an acceptable defense for the Amyrlin, either. As you stated, Egwene is the leader of the most powerful, longest standing channeling organization in the world. Someone like that needs to be held accountable for their actions even more than the average individual, to protect the world from that person becoming like a tyrant or despot.

Rand accepts accountability for the actions of his channelers, Egwene deflects or rejects it. It’s as simple as that. Who knew what and when isn’t a credible defense when it comes to being held accountable for the position of leader. Part of the leader's responsibility is to find out what happened, and why.

Shaggy@146 – Speaking as one of the main WoT culprits, I have to agree with your definition :-)

alreadymad@148 – I’m… not sure if Egwene could be aware of Toveine’s orders at this time. I do think that if Egwene (who we all know is incredibly brilliant and deductive) chose to think about it, she could most likely ascertain that 50 sisters and the Tower guard were not sent to the domain of male channelers to open up diplomatic relations. Therefore any type of aggressive action on the Aes Sedai’s part would open them up for defensive actions by the Black Tower. Any issue with the actions of the Black Tower must factor in that it was in response to an action by the White Tower.

In other words, Egwene is upset about something that the White Tower started. It’s like a bully being mad at somebody for hitting the bully back harder than the bully hit them. Maybe the bully should have left the person alone. The bully is definitely culpable for whatever happens to them, the question is how much.

Loialson@152 – Thanks for all of the info!
160. Surmiser
@152 Loialson
thanks for sharing the BWS q & a

Brandon does not know why Hopper was unable to see Perrin's visions that appeared in the sky in TAR, as there were no Notes as to they why of the wolves lack of seeing, just that they dont.

This scene is similar to TSR Ch 28 when Perrin sees Birgitte and Hopper and the 2 dont see(unaware of) each other.

would be nice to know also BWS' tastes in food ...
he seems to have placed a number of references to food in his writings in WOT. The Isam scene in aMoL seems to contain a somewhat mild distaste for oriental style cooking. Very much different from the succulent rabbit roasts of previous books.
Valentin M
161. ValMar
1st a quick point on Eg's use of "obvious" stuff like fireballs vs the flying Seanchan thingies- for those who matter, the damane and suldam, does it matter? Any weaves Eg made would be as easily visible to other channelers as fireballs. Or am I thinking here under a profound misunderstanding?

On Egwene herself- I second the positive things being said of her above, though some are scraping the bottom of the barrel, trying too hard methinks. She is one of the Good guys. But then again, so is Gawyn. And his sword fanatasies regarding Rand were of a very different nature than those he had about Egwene.
Throughout the series Egwene's interractions with Rand have bugged me a lot. From the get go, particularly on re-reads because I can see the pattern. I mean this pun. It's my opinion that Egwene's particular flavour of relationship with Rand and the way it has escalated as the series progresses is no accident. It is a massive (i.e. long and much established) set-up for the Field of Merrilor meeting. Including Latra Posae vs LTT and WT vs BT.
The seeds for this are evident in Egwene's character traits, good and bad, in a very organic and logical way. From this perspective Egwene's character is the best in WOT. E.g. the way she was brought up to view men-women relationships in the TR and under the stewardship of Nyneave. Then she was taken away from there before she could learn the nuances of this relationship. And put in the WT! It's powerful but subtle character development. Egs could've been given abusive father and brothers as a child instead, or had male channeler kill her fave uncle, etc.

Mind you, however clever and isightful I am, I am under some disadvantage to many guys here- I haven't read about half of AMOL that is out so far ;)
Sandy Brewer
162. ShaggyBella
161 Valmar
I am planning on NOT reading any of the AMOL until the full book comes out. I have restarted the series and am in book 3 now. Gotta love audio books and the drive to work everyday.
Valentin M
163. ValMar
ShaggyBella, I intend to take in AMOL in one go. This is my reasoning for not reading the stuff that has come out so far. I could fail to resist the temptation before January, but so far so good...
Sandy Brewer
164. ShaggyBella
Kind of like a virginity pledge.
We will save ourselves for the big day. No fooling around before then. Yes, we can resist temptation!

Valentin M
165. ValMar
If I read the prologue starting from the end does it mean I've kept the pledge/reisted the temptation? ;) Aaanyway, I think I'll start a re-read instead. Somewhat selective one if I am to finish before AMOL comes out.
Jay Dauro
166. J.Dauro
ValMar @161

Inverted Weaves can only be seen by the person creating them. Moghedien taught the Supergirls how to do it, and they used inverted weaves to disguise her in the SAS camp. Inverting a fireball weave is not very useful, but an inverted weave of air used as a knife should not only be invisible, the weave is not detectable.

For more see TFOH-3 and LOC-37
William Carter
167. wcarter
True, but didn't Suain tell Egwene and Nynaeve on the boat to the Tar Valon in TGH that making a sword or knife of air was more trouble than it was worth?

Making a really long sharp cutting line out of air rather than a detailed sword is what i assume you have in mind, but it could be that it's harder to make and swing something like that around than we realise. We know that the bigger/longer certain weaves are the less solid they become, though that certainly is not proof that all are like that.

There's also the fact that inverting weaves takes prep time she might have felt was better spent setting her least favorite group of people ever on fire. I know if I had had a quarter of the things done to me that she had to her, I would want to burn the people responsible alive. I would especially want to if given the opportunity to do so while they were attacking my home and my adopted family.

In the end, it may just be that it was simpler to throw fireballs.
168. Surmiser

Inverted blades of air might sound like a good idea but...

as leader Egwene needs to demonstrate to her teammates that she is there and seen to be doing something.
If toraken just fall magically from the sky for no reason then
the unbelievers on Tower side will also see no reason to vote Egwene.
169. Surmiser
continue from 168

to the enemy side, the use of shock and awe would be following Sun Tzu - demoralize the enemy and avoiding future attacks is better outcome than actually having to fight each battle. i.e. Using inverted blades of air would be less awesome.
170. Surmiser
continue from 169

by the same token, when Rand used shock and awe to kill Trolloc armies at Tarwins Gap (EotW) and also at the Stone of Tear, that was cool and awesome. But when he was with Logain using moving gateways/ deathgates (looks good on paper but if you try visualize it, it was less awesome)
Alice Arneson
171. Wetlandernw
KiManiak - Due to lack of time and a splitting headache, I'm not really going to go point for point down your list. Let me clarify a couple of things. One, Egwene is no more a "favorite character" than any of the other main characters or most of the major and minor ones. I like her, certainly, and I think I understand her, but the same can be said for most of the other characters except Team Dark players, Fain, and Berelain.

I just think that it's very unfair to jump all over Egwene and insist that she's wrong because she doesn't subjugate herself to Rand at the first opportunity. She uses the brains and the information she has, and that's not wrong. In the omniscient picture, she may not be entirely correct in her decisions, but since she doesn't have the omniscient picture, I think her choices are utterly defensible and right. If Rand can persuade her that his plan is good - assuming he's actually come up with a plan by now - without a massive confrontation, so much the better, but her refusal to just go along with him merely because aww, it's Rand we're talking about here - that was the right choice at the time. Anything else would have to be written off as overwhelming ta'veren influence (a.k.a. lazy authorship), because it wouldn't have made any sense either for her character or for what she knew at the time.

Two, when I said "you'll never convince me" I was specifically referring to the continuing accusation of megalomania. Under Egwene's leadership, the Wise Ones, the Windfinders and the Kin are finding ways to work together. There may not be formally drawn-up relationships and obligations, but there are ties.

Aside from that, as the Amyrlin, she has greater authority than any king or queen: even during the AOL, and reinstated with the establishment of the WT, the leader of the Aes Sedai has the authority to summon national and world leaders. In terms of recognized authorities, Egwene actually stands higher than Rand. That's not delusional. It is only in his totally unprecedented roles as Dragon Reborn and Fisher King that he has any authority that might supercede hers, but no one knows (that unprecedented bit) exactly what that means in terms of either sovereignty or authority.

Your governor/president analogy is sadly lacking in relevance; if anything, that might almost make sense with Elayne or Darlin as the governor and Egwene as president. Even then, though, it doesn't really work, because the Tower stands as an authority separately from the various thrones. The Amyrlin has the authority to summon rulers, and they come when she does; they even pay tribute to the White Tower. That doesn't mean that she necessarily rules over them, but she does have a certain form of authority over them. In that sense, she even has authority over Rand as King of Illian. That's not delusional either.

Finally, there is nothing in the Karaethon Prophecies that talk about the Dragon Reborn leading the nations or having any authority over anyone, other than his wearing the crown of swords. (Hence, King of Illian.) There's a lot prophesied about him confronting the Shadow, and a lot about him destroying things, and bleeding on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, and generally making a mess of lives on his way to saving them, but nothing about them obeying him, or bowing to him, or submitting to his every wacky notion.
Jonathan Levy
172. JonathanLevy
Inverting a fireball weave is not very useful, but an inverted weave of air used as a knife should not only be invisible, the weave is not detectable. For more see TFOH-3 and LOC-37
I think it's also worth remembering Asmodean's weave when he entered Rhuidean while fleeing from Rand (near the end of TSR). He wove three knife-like blades of Air, hoping Rand would run into them.

Strangely, he didn't invert the weaves, and Rand noticed them at the last moment. Perhaps that's only because inverting was introduced in later books :)
Valentin M
173. ValMar
J.Dauro @ 166; wcarter @ 167; surmiser @ 168...

I had the impression that inverted weaves were of a static nature (like the spikes left by Asmo in JL's example @ 172), left in place, or on a person, like for changing appearances. If not, my point fails.
Another explanations for not inverting her weaves could be given by wcarter- time consuming and emotion, or surmiser- tacticaly to encourage her side and dismay the "ever victorious" enemy.
Or maybe, Egwene is simply stupid and incompetent and forgot, like when she let herself get captured by the TAS... :-D
174. HeWhoLurksBeneath
Re: Egwene's Weaving

Ok, this has been bugging me a lot this read through but why were there no wards around TV? Egwene had her warning from her dream, she knew the Seanchan had Raken and To'Raken; she should know that any Seanchan attack would involved them, so why didn't she put wards up 10/50/100 miles around TV?

It's not like she lacked the resources, she has 1/2 the WT, and the ability to travel so distance/ travel time wouldn't be a concern. Could she not ward for just Raken?

And assuming there is some reasonable justification for why wards wouldn't work, why didn't she have Bryne set up a ring of scouts around the city? Have a ring of scouts anywhere from 30-50 miles, have a traveling AS visit them every 6hrs and you'd still have advance warning on the attack that you are UTTERLY convinced is coming.

Having taken no other steps then giving a reasonably suspect warning (I mean the Tower hadn't a dreamer in how many years?) to people who are highly disinclined to believe you, just screams criminal negligence to me.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
Lurk @174 - I don't think the wards would be feasible. We've never seen anyone do a ward that big, for one thing. For another, while we know it's possible to put up a ward against Shadowspawn, and it's possible to put up a ward that will tell you when a line is crossed, I don't think anyone has figured out how to up up a ward against one particular kind of non-magical creature. (The one possible exception to that I can think of is the slim possibility that some of the general warding on Tar Valon might be directed against rats - but that's a stretch. Add to that, very few if any of them have even seen a raken, so would they be able to create such a specific ward?) And if you have to do a non-specific ward to tell you when anything crosses the line... Aside from the constant ringing in your ears, you have no way of knowing when the creature crossing it will be the one coming to attack the Tower, and when it's just a squirrel looking for nuts. Oh, and it would have to be a full dome, not just a ring, in order to warn of airborne assault.

As for setting rings of scouts and having AS check with them every 6 hours... Well, that would sort of work if the Seanchan were coming on foot, assuming the scouts didn't get killed and the AS didn't gate into the middle of the army by accident. Coming by air, though, it would be the merest coincidence if an AS happened to check with the scouts in the minutes after the raken had flown by but before they reached Tar Valon. Alternatively, if you took all the AS who could Travel, and paired up the ones who could only Travel by linking, and you spread them out in a big circle 100 miles out (incidentally gutting the camp), you just might spot them and have enough warning to do something about it. Of course, they'd be scattered pretty thin on the ground; with only 300 SAS total, and at best maybe a quarter of them strong enough to Travel solo, in a 600-mile-circumference you'd end up with an AS/team about every 40 miles. You could decrease that a little by using Accepted and strong novices, if you were willing to risk them, but since you'd obviously have to have at least one AS in every team, at the very best case they'd be a couple of miles apart. And they do have to sleep sometime, so there's another issue to deal with.

This assumes, of course, the complete cooperation of the entire SAS camp, and that the sister who sees them is willing to Travel into the Tower, and that anyone in the Tower will listen to one of the rebels when she comes with a warning of something they simply don't believe can happen. By the time they convene the Hall and have a big discussion of whether it's at all appropriate to even listen to her instead of having her immediately birched, what she might have seen (since she can't lie) and all the reasons that she might be wrong, the raken would still be blasting holes in the completely unprepared Tower.

If Egwene had had full knowledge of when, whence and how the attack would come, there might have been some value in setting up a warning system. Since all she knew was that it would come, it's hard to imagine what kind of system could "realistically" (by in-world rules) have been set up and maintained over a period of days, weeks or months until either the Tower was reunited or the Seanchan attacked, whichever came first.
176. Freelancer
Inverted weaves are otherwise the same in behavior to "normal" weaves, except that they are undetectable in the common way to other channelers of the same Power. They are not inherently "static". Perhaps it seemed so because most cases we've read of weaves being inverted, involved something meant to be kept "in place", leaving the impression that they can only be employed in such a way.

As for Egwene not bothering to invert the weaves she uses to attack the to'raken, it is fairly straightforward. The Fire of her fireballs would appear as fireballs whether inverted or not, and her state of mind at the moment, that she was going to drive the Seanchan back with her army of novices and Accepted and Vora's sa'angreal, was designed to bring the attention of the entire assault on her. She was challenging them, and she beat them. Not exactly brilliant strategy, but she didn't lose.

This is the truly funny part of much of the Egwene criticism; many of her actions which are derided for one reason or another turn out effective. Good leadership is making decisions and acting on them, and also being willing to accept the consequences. She does this.
Craig Jarvis
177. hawkido

You seem to forget she was a prisoner at the time... also she had no knowledge of the nature of the attack. and the "Air Raid" was not a Seanchan Attack tactic in the past. It's not like she remembers the London Air raids and mounted flyers, tho she knew of them, it takes quite a bit to theorize attack methods for a special unit type that you do not have. Attacking from the air just wasn't a tactic used by humans, and Night raids also not a tactic of human armies (friendly fire being the biggest reason)... combining both, nothing Egwene setup would have worked. Warding against a non-shadowspawn critter is difficult. Like the Rat-ward, would need to be setup and fine tuned... it may even require a specialist to develop and test. No Raken or To'raken to test it on would be pointless. If you make it a general ward anything would trigger it. Unless you put it only in the air, which as stated above was not or should not have been expected.

*EDIT* Wet, thanks for making me waste my time... LOL *EDIT*
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
"Not exactly brilliant strategy, but she didn't lose." - and as my husband would say, "That's not nothin'."

I think you're right, Freelancer. As you may notice, I've been thinking about RJ's blog on making decisions with inadequate information. You know what you know, knowing it isn't everything there is to be known, but knowing that you can't possibly get hold of everything. You can either act on what you know, aware that it might be a risky decision but believing something is better than nothing, or you can sit paralyzed in your chair, unwilling to risk making a decision that might turn out to be unwise in retrospect - i.e., when more information has come in after the fact. As you say, "Good leadership is making decisions and acting on them, and also being willing to accept the consequences." And yes, she does that.

She has been wrong on occasion, and one of her less endearing traits is that she doesn't make a big deal about going back and acknowledging or apologizing for it. She also doesn't deny it, which is more than can be said for some. But most of the time, her decisions (made as best she can based on what she knows) turn out to be right, or at least not wrong. Another thing a good leader has to realize is that there is rarely only one "right" answer, and not often even a "best" answer. (This truly grates on the mathematician in me; I always want there to be a right answer in the back of the book, so I know it can be figured out. Life doesn't often work this way.)
179. HeWhoLurksBeneath

Hmm, maybe I should be specific; and use numbers. I like numbers.

Let's assume the ring of scouts is set at 100 miles out. We could reasonable assume the Seanchan would only come from the west/sout, so we only have use to a half ring, the totally distance needed to be covered is 100*pi miles, call it 300 mi for simplicity. If we assume each watch post can maintain a 2 mile radius, and that each station needs 3 men to watch, you would need a total of 450 men to man the entire ring. 150 posts with 450 men isn't an insignificant force buts it not an overly large one, especially since you could use anyone for the job since they won't be actually fighting.

Let's assume that a fully load To'raken flies at 30 mph, (I am basing this number off http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v050n03/p0309-p0316.pdf and assuming that the To'raken will fly slow due to it large size and weight). It would take a To'Raken slightly long then 3 hours to make it across the perimeter and to the city assuming it can sustain flight that long and will be able to immediately fight. Let's assume the Seanchan would rest the To'raken before attacking and round this to 4 hours.

We can condense the number of towers that would need to be visited via traveling to 15 if we assume that every tower maintains contact with the next and that 10 towers all report to a local command tower. Thus you'd only need 15 traveling AS to make a sweep and come back with a report. If you do this every 3 hrs, the standard length of a 'watch', you get a minimum warning of an hour. I.e. The Seanchan pass over 15 min after the AS visit, the AS visit 3hr later and find out. (Great thing about this system is you could also refresh the men at the posts so you don't have to worry about guard fatigue)

For the low investment of say 15 min of 15 AS time every 3 hrs and the use of 450 men, you've successfully pushed your perimeter awareness out 100 miles, and gained a minimum of a hour of advance notice. Which is crucial amount of time, and almost completely negates the surprise advantage. If the To'Raken flies at 20 mph or the Seanchan rest for longer than hour you've gained at least 2 hours notice. You could even use less men if you pushed the watch towers further apart but you'd risk letting the Seanchan slip through.

I think you didn't understand that you don't need the sisters to do the watching only the checking. But I'll admit my 6hr check time would have failed, after doing the math 3 hrs seems to work fine though.
180. HeWhoLurksBeneath
Re: Egwene being a prisoner

I don't have the books handy, but wasn't Egwene still meeting the Hall in her dreams? This seems like a small detial you might want to share and order them to take care of, but that could just be me...

Also I'm not suggesting that Egwene even had to come up with the plan, she just needed to tell Siuan to tell Bryne about the attack. I'd like to think that if Ituralde can not only counter but utilize the Seanchan's dependence on Raken, Bryne as another GC would be able to recognize the importance of Raken as scouts, the needs to counter that advantage, and the mobility of the traveling.

Whether he could get the AS to actually do the traveling or Egwene would need to do some major buttkicking to make it happen is up in the air though.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
Sorry, everyone. This is a huge wall of text, but I’m not going to spend another hour trying to edit it for you. Apologies.

hawkido - happy to oblige. ;)

Actually, you brought up something that crossed my mind but got left out of the post - the attack under cover of darkness. Most of the scout scenarios I listed would have been rendered ineffective by darkness anyway, as the specifics of the attack turned out.

During the "forerunners" phase of the Seanchan return (Falme, etc.) they didn't really use the raken all that much, and then, near as I can tell, mostly for scouting. It wasn't until the full-up Return, when they brought in large numbers of all the bizarre critters, that the raken became major troop-movement vehicles. At that, even Tuon acknowledged that it's a major stretch to use raken to strike so far away, but it's the only way she could think of to get there without warning. Which... was true, really.

So you've got the completely unprecedented air assault, combined with the almost-equally-unprecedented night attack, and virtually anything the SAS could realistically have come up with would have been useless anyway. That's assuming they could focus on anything but the fact that their Amyrlin was captured and they were sitting outside Tar Valon with an army, anyway.

Lurk – And supposing the Seanchan decided to circle around and come in from the north? Or suppose they decided to use Dragonmount as a landmark, did their resting on the far side, and then came around the north slopes to attack? No one in your half-circle would have seen them at all. Even assuming they come straight in from the southwest, why on earth would they be stopping to rest the raken within 100 miles of Tar Valon? And would those men on the watch posts have been watching the sky, in any case? If they’d flown over in daylight, I suppose they would, but not in darkness – not unless they lucked out and happened to fly directly over a post instead of somewhere between. All of which is after-the-fact it-wouldn’t-have-worked armchair quarterbacking anyway.

Realistically, an army on foot coming to attack the Tower would have been noticed long before they got anywhere near Tar Valon, and Bryne knew that. The idea of watching for an aerial attack would simply not have occurred to anyone except, perhaps, those who had been with Rand in Illian and Altara – none of whom were anywhere near Tar Valon, much less in touch with the White Tower or Gareth Bryne. Ituralde had been watching and fighting the Seanchan for quite some time; he observed how they used their raken and saw how he could use that against them. Bryne would have at most the knowledge that the Seanchan had such critters; no observation and not much information on how they were used. And even for the Seanchan, such a long-distance strike was an innovation.

Egwene had, in fact, revealed her dream of the Seanchan attack to the SAS, but it was somewhat overcome by the shock everyone felt at Anaiya’s death that same morning. In any case, most of them didn’t take it very seriously, because they didn’t really believe that she was a Dreamer. Anaiya would have believed, but she was murdered, and Siuan and Leane didn’t have a lot of influence even though they believed. The general feeling among the AS was that the Seanchan were a long ways away, and they’d have plenty of warning if that changed. As for Bryne, he was already patrolling the surrounding areas; why would he think he needed to set watch posts farther out?

I understood perfectly that you weren’t thinking of having the AS doing the watching. I just don’t think your idea of having an AS check in with them every 6 hours – or even every 3 hours – would have worked. I merely proposed what would have at least been a more effective means of getting the information back to the Aes Sedai in time to be useful. Working with your numbers, with a maximum of 4 hours and a minimum of one hour warning, what would have been the result of a rebel sister (assuming you could get one to cooperate by going out and checking every three hours) coming back with warning of a bunch of weird flying creatures apparently headed this direction? Best scenario, she goes back to the rebel camp and manages to get the Hall to convene. Will they believe the word of a bunch of soldiers? Not likely; they’ll have to send someone more trustworthy to investigate. Even if she/they astonishingly end up in the right place to see it coming, and they bring back a report, there will still be questions as to what the creatures are, whether they could seriously be believed to be Seanchan coming to attack the Tower, etc. How much time has this taken so far? Probably at least an hour; probably more. Well, there went your minimum margin of warning. With your maximum, they’ve got at most three hours to figure out what to do about it, if they even believe such a farfetched idea as an aerial attack on the White Tower. I don’t think it’s enough to make a difference, because they didn’t believe it was really going to happen.

Oh, and if the cooperatively-checking sister went straight to the Tower? Even worse, because they’d have to decide what to do with a rebel and whether to take anything she said seriously. If they ever got around to checking up on the report, they’d have even less inclination to believe it was an attack, because pretty much all they know about the Seanchan is rumor and what Egwene has told them – and we know how firmly they believed her…

The biggest problem with any of the “let’s set up an early warning system” ideas is that no matter how much Bryne and Siuan believed Egwene’s dream, no one else did. Unless they believed an attack possible, they would not prepare for it. If it had been a ground attack, Bryne’s soldiers and the Tower Guard were already as well prepared as they could be, and they’d have had adequate warning to finalize preparations if needed. Without even a concept of airborne assault, how could anyone have been prepared for it even if they believed the dream?

As I said earlier – If Egwene had known when, or whence, or how the attack would come, there would be some rationale for thinking she should have tried to set up an early warning system, even if only Siuan and Bryne believed her. But all she knew was that it would come. We can look at it with our wonderful, omniscient reader perspective and say that clearly it would be an airborne attack, since the dream involved ravens flying in, but it’s ridiculous to think that Egwene should have interpreted that as a literal flying attack. Ravens are a symbol of the Seanchan, which is enough for the interpretation.
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
And... on a completely unrelated note, and also off topic: What is the plural of "bossy-pants"? Anyone want to make a suggestion?
William Carter
183. wcarter
Hmm...I could be wrong, but I don't think it changes for the plural.
Look Dave, it's a deer. Look Dave, it's a herd of deer.
She's just a bossy pants witch. They're just a couple of bossy pants witches.
Craig Jarvis
184. hawkido

The air speed of an unladen african swallow?
Alice Arneson
185. Wetlandernw
Huh. I'd have thought they could fly at least as fast as a duck. True, that's unladen... but they've got those big ol' wings, and they're definitely made for flight, not ground-hopping.
Craig Jarvis
186. hawkido
that holy grail thing jumped out at me when lurker posted that link.
187. HeWhoLurksBeneath
My objection is primarily that she warned only the people who don't have any particular reason to believe her. Remember they don't know she really is a dreamer, not to mention she isn't really AS in their eye. She doesn't try to warn the people she can control, who do know she is dreamer, and who have the actual ability to do anything about it.

That said I still think that an early detection system is viable.

Re: The unprecedented nature of the attack

It's not completely unheard of. After all, this is EXACTLY how Amador fell: Night attack by To'Raken dropping off soldiers. Admittedly, that attack was significantly easier since there were no channelers on the defending side. I've always felt that Toun's statement of the unprecedented nature of the attack was based on the size/distance/number of channelers involved not the attack itself. After all they'd already done it. Just like D-day was unprecedented because of its size, not because beach landings were new.

Re: The geography.

I pulled up a map from Google. This actually makes it easier. The Seanchan invasion comes from Ebou Dar. They have to fly across the continent to TV. They need to stop for water, and navigate the land flying on by visual flight reference (VFR) alone. This practically guarantees that they have to follow rivers or roads. Rivers are by far the safer option since they provide a constant source of water, generally have less traffic, and are far more easily recognizable from the air. This drastically limits the number of possible approaches. Note that these approaches are also the only possible approaches for a land based army as well

Thus the most direct invasion route would have been along Eldar, cross country along the road to Manetherendelle, to Storn, to Cary, cutting across to the Erinin, and following it up to TV.
Alternatively, they could have follow the Manethrendelle, to Haevin and approach east over the Black Hills. This would involve less risk of discovery. If you 'expect' the attack to be a land based force, the Black Hills is the only viable route since the other route would require cutting through Andor. That just cut the territory requiring observation down to 10 miles on either side of River Luan, the road from Denhuir, and the River Erinin. Only 60 miles, 80 if you include the south side of the River Erinin, a reasonable precaution. We now only need 240 watchers and 4 reasonably cooperative AS at anytime. Looping around from the west is a possible options but unlikely since that would risk further detection by crossing into more populated lands and extending the duration of the raid, neither of which are good options for the Seanchan. Not to mention they would still have to follow the river into TV. Flying by VFR at night is tricky business even in the modern world which includes well lit highways; a VFR before electrical lighting would be incredibly difficult. Not to mention, has there been any mention of compass so far? I can't remember. Flying by night without a compass is downright suicidal. The final leg of the attack would have to be launched from within daylight sight of TV.

Re: Stopping to rest within a 100 miles of TV. This isn't as ridiculous as you appear to think it is, since:
1. The final leg of the attack would have to be launched from within daylight sight of TV.
2. The other option is to attack un-rested. This means you would be expecting the To'raken to fly 100 miles continue flying throughout the attack, finish the attack and fly 100 miles out of the city. If you plan on the raid taking a minimum of 1 hr, you're expecting the To'Raken to fly for 7 hours straight, at least for 1 in battle conditions, with no rest. That's ridiculous.

Re: Knowledge of the Seanchan. The SAS should know about the fall of Amador, IIRC. They continued to travel to Salidar to check on the pigeon coops for information. Salidar is in Amadicia, it is practically inconceivable that the SAS don't know about the fall of Amador and that the AS spies in Amador wouldn't report giant flying creatures landing troops in the city.

Re: Getting AS to cooperate.

This is the hard point but I'd like to point two things.
1. Egwene has how many sisters sworn to her?
2. She doesn't even try, I'm not expecting miracles but I can easily imagine her Tom Sawyer-ing the rebel hall into cooperating:, Announce the scouting mission, request the hall assign sisters for traveling, pretends it's not-important and yet maintain it's absolutely vital she (Egwene) controls the program. The Hall would want to take over and run it just to be ornery.

Re: What I expect the SAS to if they actually detect something.

1. I highly doubt the Tower guard would fail to at least prep for an attack if ANY AS walked in and said "there's going to be an attack in 1-3 hours."

2. I expect 6 AS walking into the WT and swearing by the light and their hope for rebirth that an attack was coming to their respective Ajah heads would produce at least some reaction even if they were rebels.

3. The Rebel AS could actually intercept the attack if they knew it was coming, and from which direction. Any counter attack from the AS outside the city walls most likely would have caused the Seanchan to abandon the attack, since they would infer that it meant the entire WT was aware of them and ready for them.

4. Even if all they did was get arrested by the WT AS, the resultant hullabaloo would have ensured that every AS in the Tower was at least Awake when the attack came. By providing an explanation, even if it isn't believed till the attack actually starts, they would have reduced the response time for the AS to actually get organized and start responding.
188. HeWhoLurksBeneath
Yeah, I was trying to avoid the Monty Python skecth but I shoulda known better.
Kimani Rogers
189. KiManiak
ShaggyBella@162 & ValMar @163 – re: AMoL – I respect your discipline. I initially intended to read it all in one go (like I did with ToM), but then Tor.com/Team Jordan had to release a Mat chapter a few weeks ago and I couldn’t fight it. After that, I figured “why fight it?” However, you get mad props for your stance. I hope you guys make it to January; I really do.

Wet@171 – I hope the headache is gone. I’ve suffered from headaches since I was little, and can sympathize. Nothing like the headache that sticks with you for 2 or 3 days at a time; hope this one doesn’t qualify.

I respect that you feel you're objective and view/treat almost all of the characters the same. You do defend Egwene a lot, but then again, Egwene tends to be criticized a lot. I would argue that it seems (from this outsider’s perspective) that you actually defend her a lot more than, say, Gawyn (who is also a character that garners a lot of criticism). This (among other things, including the “you’ll never convince me” comment) had led me to assume that you favor Egwene.

Since I don’t like to argue for too long and in too detailed of specifics with individual people when it comes to their favorites beyond a post or so (Ultimately what’s the point? People will ultimately be slightly irrational about their favorites; that’s human nature), I had planned to just leave it for now and in the future. Even though you claim Egwene’s not a favorite, I’ll just do this last rebuttal, I’m sure you’ll have a rebuttal to my rebuttal, and we can just leave it and look forward to tomorrow’s post, which… will have more Perrin and Egwene :-)

Again, at this point in the story the Wise Ones, Kin, Windfinders and Tower aren’t working together at all. Your earlier comments about her having power over and being leader of those 3 groups were quite in error:
1) Egwene and the Tower has no standing with the Windfinders (actually, thanks to our Supergirls, the Windfinders have more “leadership” over Aes Sedai, then vice versa).
2) Egwene is connected to the Wise Ones… as an apprentice Wise One. She has the respect of several Wise Ones (I’m sure many apprentices do), but definitely no leadership role. The Tower has no standing with the Wise Ones. Again, the Wise Ones could be seen as having more of a leadership role, as they have “adopted” several Aes Sedai as apprentice Wise Ones.
3) Egwene (and the Tower) will allow some of the Kin to return to the White Tower and “reenlist” in the Aes Sedai training program. Barring that, the Kin will be connected to the Tower by allowing the Aes Sedai to retire there. However, the age-seniority rule of the Kin will still apply. So, the Tower does have ties to the Kin, which is easily the weakest of the 3 groups.

So, any “ties” between the 3 groups are not with Egwene or the Tower in leadership, or with the Tower playing a prominent role in the establishment of their connection. It’s as accurate to say that under Elaida, the 3 groups were working together. Or possibly even Rand, if you want to stretch the definition of “ties” and “working together.”

As for my Governor and President analogy, it was presented to refute your comment that someone with some power (or even a lot of power) can’t have delusions of power/grandeur. In that sense, it’s quite relevant.

If you want a more religious/spiritual analogy (which could be more relevant since the Creator, with its believer’s/followers/supporters tends to suggest a more religious/spiritual type situation) that’s fine: consider the Pope versus the Cardinal (or Bishop, I admit I’m not well versed in Catholic hierarchy), or another religious comparison, if you prefer. The analogy is sound in the sense that, with most situations, a powerful person still has less power than someone who was set above them by a greater authority (in the governor’s case, it’s the president; in the Cardinal’s case, it’s the Pope; in the Amyrlin’s case, it’s the Dragon). Anyone who thinks they have more power than the one set above them is suffering from delusions of grandeur. Like Egwene does in this case :-)

As for the prophecies of the Dragon, don’t they talk about him “breaking the bonds,” (or something to that extent) of the people in the WoTverse? Don’t we see that happening as early as TGH or TDR? Isn’t that shown by people leaving the leaders and nations they initially had allegiance to in order to follow the Dragon?

So if you’re going to argue that the people have answered the call of the Amyrlin and White Tower (And do we know that that’s been formalized or mentioned in any prophecy? Or do leaders of nation just do it out of respect? Because we know that not showing respect to others, while demanding respect for herself is another one of Egwene's problems) in the past when called, what’s wrong with the people understanding that they need to follow the Dragon when he calls? As for submitting to “wacky notions,” I’m sure that the Tower has had quite a few notions that seemed “wacky” to those who didn’t understand the bigger picture, initially. The Amyrlin would still expect the people to follow those notions.

Anyway, fun discussion; I look forward to your rebuttal, and then Leigh’s next post. Chances are good that Egwene will be a topic of discussion again

hewholurks@174 – The Tower Aes Sedai were aware of Egwene’s warnings re: the Seanchan attack and chose to ignore it. This is not Egwene’s fault. Egwene could not have placed wards around the White Tower why she led her Rebel Aes Sedai in the siege of the White Tower. Once Egwene was captured, she most definitely couldn’t have placed wards around the Tower when dosed with forkroot. It’s unknown whether there are wards that could rebuff raken, anyway.

Criticizing Egwene for not warding the Tower (or all of Tar Valon, Light forbid) is incredibly unfair. Labeling her criminally negligent is just wrong.
(Edit: I need to learn to refresh the page before I’m about to post; I see that Wet@174 already addressed this. And, like 50,000 other comments. Darn page refresh)
Jay Dauro
190. J.Dauro
Egwene warned everyone she could. Most did not believe her.
With no details other than an attack was coming, you would not know whether to watch the air, the ground, traveling, whatever.

We know it was an air assault. But no one on any of the boards I frequent had any idea of doing a warning line until after the assault. Hindsight is 20/20.

Was it a cloudy night? Would folks on the ground be able to see the *raken? Remember, that we don't get sunlight until after Rand's experience on Dragonmount.

I was not surprised Egwene went to the Fireballs. I doubt it had much to do with trying to impress the TAS, I think it was just sheer outrage at the attack. Egwene also is not the type to do guerilla fighting, I don't think it would occur to her, and she possibly would not make the connection on how easy it is to damage a wing. But we have seen a blade of air cleanly remove a head, so a knick to a tendon, a slash to the wing membrane should be possible.

My thought was that this would have been a much better defense, to start with at least. Very quickly after she starts throwing Fireballs, return fire commences. And targets are aware of her location, and do their best to stay out of range. If she can drop a number of *raken before the enemy can figure out what's going on, she is more effective in repeling the attack, and preventing the Seanchen from acquiring AS channelers. She also postpones the attack on her position, and the novices she is working to protect.

She did a good job in repeling the attack, much better than the rest of the AS. Still, the Seanchen did get Traveling, and a number of AS channelers. My calculations are that they probably lost near to the same number of trained damane, and of course a number of sul'dam (but they have lots of extra sul'dam.) Still the Seanchen consider the raid a success.

The real question comes now. We have a united Tower. The Tower knows the Seanchen have Traveling, and should expect a larger attack, What are they doing to prepare now?

Are all channelers being taught how to use the Power to remove a'dam?

Are we setting up circles, since we know the Seanchen cannot use them? Are we maybe trying to get some male channelers to allow honking large circles?

Are we deploying our angreal and sa'angreal?

Are we trying to develop wards that detect inbound gateways, so that we can watch inside the Tower?

Are we developing large necklaces that can be locked on channelers that prevent an a'dam from being placed on the neck?

Do we have an evacuation plan to get channelers away if needed?

This will actually show how much Egwene and the AS really know about fighting.
Alice Arneson
191. Wetlandernw
Lurk @187 – “My objection is primarily that she warned only the people who don't have any particular reason to believe her. Remember they don't know she really is a dreamer, not to mention she isn't really AS in their eye. She doesn't try to warn the people she can control, who do know she is dreamer, and who have the actual ability to do anything about it.”

Hold it there, pardner. She told the Salidar Aes Sedai (who don’t believe she’s a Dreamer) the morning after she had the dream, and she later told the Tower Aes Sedai (who also don’t believe she’s a Dreamer). Who else is she supposed to have told??

And exactly who among the Aes Sedai would know anything about how Amador fell? I’m reasonably sure those who escaped didn’t send pigeons to Tar Valon.

And so on. Well, I’m not going to go into it further. You think it should work, and I think it’s unrealistic to think they would have any reason to do any of it. There you have it.

KiManiak @189 – Sadly, no, the headache is not gone. It looks to be the three-day sort, but at least I have the option to stay home now. And it’s not as bad as it was, so there’s that.

I probably do defend Egwene more – partly because I understand her better (being female and all) and partly because I think her actions are more defensible than most of Gawyn’s. As for the rest… Just a couple of comments, because I have to get my kid to soccer practice soon. I think the basic disagreement is whether there is anyone “set above” Egwene in terms of recognized authority. As I argued before, I don’t think Rand is anywhere – except in his mind, perhaps, and the minds of many readers – stated to have any authority over anyone, other than the questionable hold he has over them of pretending that he might refuse to do his duty if they don’t agree to his terms.

While I recognize the view that because of his responsibility, Rand ought to have authority as well, it’s just not set up that way in-world.

Yikes!! Gotta go!
William Fettes
192. Wolfmage
Re: Megalomania

Despite the fact that I subscribe to criticism of Egwene, I don’t think it’s appropriate or fair to say she exhibits megalomania.

Elaida is probably the clearest archetypal case of megalomania in terms of her delusions of omnipotence, her authoritarian narcissism, and her chronic overestimation of her power, authority and judgement. But let’s be clear: Egwene is not guilty of anything like that. Whatever you may think of Egwene's foibles –such as her fairly unshakable self-belief, her tendency to compartmentalise her thinking, and her gonzo convictions about the Tower, these idiosyncrasies don’t rise to megalomania – either collectively or apart.

Re: Kidnapping

Regardless of who knew about the kidnapping or not, the buck stops with the Amyrlin and so that calamity is inherited by every successive Amyrlin. It’s not about personal responsibility, it’s about the broader responsibility that comes with being the head of state of a great power.

I agree that Rand has more personal responsibility for the Ashamen than Egwene has for the activities of the Tower under Elaida, but personal responsibility is only part of the picture here and the problem of bonding Aes Sedai as an alternative to summary execution is minor compared to the strike on the Black Tower (an act of war) and the kidnapping and torture.

Re: the Tower as supranational entity

There’s a difference between power and legal authority. The rulers of Randland come when summoned by the Tower because Tar Valon is the seat of organised Saidar users. The deference Aes Sedai receive is because they have a near monopoly on magical destructive force, and other lessor powers don’t dare defy that power. Apart from whatever bilateral treaties the Aes Sedai make with others, and their traditional claims to objects of the power - their laws extend exactly as far as their borders like any other nation.

Now, some peoples grant Aes Sedai cultural and customary deference which goes beyond that (such as the Borderlanders) but the general point is that whatever global deference exists isn’t because people owe fealty to the Tower or because the Tower sits above other nations in law. Technically Tar Valon is just another powerful city state with no greater legal status than any other nation - a concept known as sovereign equality. It's the same concept that makes the US technically equal in law to some tiny African country - despite one being a flyspeck and the other being a superpower. In practice, nobody could fail to spot the difference in diplomatic soft power and military power, but they're both formally equal.

So I'm extremely dubious about this idea that Egwene is "officially" in a position to speak for much beyond her own organisation. All that gonzo about being Watcher of the Seals and leader of the world is pretty much the Tower's grandiose marketing which Egwene has swallowed whole. Now if they can give some substance to the conceit all to the good, but Rand is the official pattern-sanctioned champion of the light.

You only have to look at the Seanchan example to see how much the writ of the Tower is worth when you remove their monopoly on the One Power. Give other nations armies of channellers and the Tower's vaunted mystique and authority would disappear overnight. We see a similar pattern with the Seafolk and the Wise Ones.
193. Iarvin
Wetlanderw @191
As I argued before, I don’t think Rand is anywhere – except in his mind, perhaps, and the minds of many readers – stated to have any authority over anyone, other than the questionable hold he has over them of pretending that he might refuse to do his duty if they don’t agree to his terms.

Rand is crowned King of Illian. And lots of people upthread were saying that he's the authority in charge of the Asha'man which would put him in charge of a similar institution to the Aes Sedai. He’s also the Chief of Chiefs for the Aiel. He has other positions but they seem to be more symbolic than authoritative.
194. Freelancer
KiManiak @189

RE: Egwene's status in relation to "the other" channeling groups...

With the SeaFolk Windfinders, it is true that she has no authority. But she has a connection. Made by the Bargain via Elayne and Nynaeve. Bad bargain or good bargain regarding specifics, it is a business deal with the Atha'an Miere, and they honor those. It does give Egwene a lever to call upon the Windfinders for aid as allies.

With the Aiel, her status as an Apprentice ended the day she explained to them that she had been raised Amyrlin. That they recognized her situation was intended to be a puppet, and that she knew it as well, but planned to turn the tables on them, earned great respect from the Wise Ones. They also know that she wishes for a greater connection between the Wise Ones and the White Tower. They rightly fear this, but they trust Egwene. She has a fair amount of influence with them.

With the Kin, the situation is both simpler and more fluid. They are free agents, though many of them still pine for a second chance to belong to the Tower. Egwene will be seen as having great authority in the eyes of most of them. I disagree that this is the "weakest" of the three groups. It is the least stringently organized, but it is by far the largest. When questioned at the Knitting Circle house in Ebou Dar, Reanne informs Nynaeve that there are 1,783 on the rolls of the Kin. They have suffered a variety of losses since then, but if they can be located and brought to Tar Valon quickly, that's more than 1,500 channelers, many with hundreds of years of experience, most of them still harboring memories of being novices or Accepted and wishing they could have earned the shawl.

RE: Comparing accountability between Egwene and Rand

The facts are these:

1. What was done to Rand was done by Aes Sedai under Elaida's authority. We cannot unequivocally say that she authorized the mistreatment as far as Galina took it, and since several of those Aes Sedai were Black, there is a mitigating factor to Elaida's culpability, though not to her responsibility after the fact. Egwene knew nothing of this, never would have permitted it nor condoned it. She "inherits" responsibility via transfer of authority, only to the extent of reparations and punishments. She cannot be held pesonally accountable.

2. What was done by the Tower Aes Sedai at the Black Tower comes under the same definitions. It was not her watch. She bears responsibility for taking corrective actions to redress wrongs committed. However, since the Tower Aes Sedai never had the chance to carry out their mission (which again, Egwene would never have ordered nor condoned), her responsibility would be diminished to seeking parlance for the purpose of equitably terminating the unacceptable conditions of sisters being held bonded against their will.

3. What was done by the Asha'man at the Black Tower was done under Rand's authority, though not by his specific direction. He bears full responsibility and accountability for the actions, because it is his watch, and was his duty to oversee the operation of the Black Tower. That he left it to someone he had already learned was untrustworthy is a topic for another discussion; his culpability is certain. Logain's faction acted in accordance with standing orders not to harm Aes Sedai. Since they were left with a Hobson's choice, they did the best they could do, made the invading sisters effectively harmless. A key fact is that they WERE being invaded, which permits a response. Theirs was the least onerous response possible given the conditions at the time. However, that those sisters remain in effective slavery beyond Rand learning of the event, incrementally increases his accountability to take corrective action. Offering a compromise through permitting Salidar Aes Sedai to bond an equal number of Asha'man, serves the captive Tower Aes Sedai not one whit. Perhaps Rand sees their situation as just punishment for attempting to destroy the Black Tower, but we don't know his opinion there.
Valentin M
195. ValMar
Yeah, Rand's "The Dragon Reborn" title may be more ephemeral than Egwene's Amyrlin. In that respect Wetlander is right.
But. As folks just above wrote- he is the leader of the Black Tower. This is not yet on par with the WT, fair enough. But it is something. He is the leader of the Aiel- in terms of both numbers and quality the best fighting force in Randland. And they come with a "Power" wing, the WOs. It's a bit like herding cats but they do do what he says. He is currently the King of Illian. Ehm, what happened to the old one? Close personal relationship with Tear's Darlin, Arad Doman, the Cairhienin...
The fact is, all those things which normally would make Egwene, as the Amyrlin and personally, more influencial in world affairs as Wetlander argues- they have been taken over by Rand. He has deeper relations with political and military powers, finance isn't an issue for him, he has a large channeler force (WOs, AM, AS). Egwene's personal relationships- WOs, Sea Folk, Rand is there already. Even with Elayne and Nyn, Rand has strong influence with them too.

Egwene is a huge figure for the Light, there's no doubt. Bigger than any other Amyrlin because of her connections. But Rand is The One. Of course, it doesn't mean people should grovel before him. I don't think anyone here means this, however they express themselves. At least they shouldn't. At one stage he was Dark Rand, after all. But just as Egwene has worked hard to get where she did, so has Rand. He can't succeed alone, but he is The One, the Dragon and Champion of the Light and there is no way around it.
They will meet at the Field of Merrilor and they will talk, others will talk too. Then we will see who's who and what they are made of. As was written in another book, they will show their quality.
Chris R
196. up2stuff
Putting aside the semantics of what Elaida F@#$ ups Egwene is and is not responsible for and whether her head is farther up her pututti than Rand's is his with his "I don't want to believe that Taim is a mega-freaking badguy, even though everyone says he is, and he checked out my Girlfriend's Bum" and "my asha'man forcible bonded AS in self defense" or whatever...where was I going with this... Oh, yeah, putting all that aside, Egwene still drives me to want to drink every drop of crazyjuice I can get my hands on because she and every other woman but Min want to GUIDE Rand.

I HATE, I HATE, I HAAATE, Peter Pan, that word. The Wise Ones, Egwene and even Ny, to some extent want to GUIDE him, not support him. This just screams "I already know what you should do, so just listen and do it. I may listen and agree or disagree, but MY way is still the way it should be done." I know they can't really trust him, but there is just no way in that way of thinking to allow for any possible way for him to do anything but the way they want it done.

They all need to get GUIDE, CONTROL, MANIPULATE out of their heads and at least allow for the POSSIBILITY that he has thought of something plausible that they have not.

HELP him you silly narrow minded chores of women!!!
Kimani Rogers
197. KiManiak
Freelancer@194 - Thanks for sharing your facts, regarding the Amyrlin’s accountability vs. the Dragon’s accountability. Let me return the gesture:

The additional facts are these:

1) The actions in dispute (the kidnapping and torture of an (acting) sovereign (of 2 nations, no less); the invasion of the Black Tower; the attempted maiming of all channelers of the Black Tower and the conspiracy to commit murder of all residents of the Black Tower) by the White Tower were conducted by agents of the White Tower, at the express direction of the head of the White Tower. These were each hostile actions conducted without provocation, and each could be interpreted as an act of war.

The actions in dispute (the bonding of 50 White Tower agents) by the Black Tower were conducted on Black Tower land on (and in response to) a hostile, invading force. The actions were conducted by agents of the Black Tower, but not by the direction of the head of the Black Tower. These were actions of self-defense, in response to provocation. They also could be interpreted as an act of war.

Ultimately, the head of the Black Tower and the head of the White Tower are responsible for the actions of their subordinates. Formal and official responsibility of the head of state (or organization) is most relevant here; personal responsibility is less relevant (but you can blame Galina, Toveine, Taim and Logain if you'd like, as they gave the specific orders for the actions. It doesn't matter so much in the larger scheme of things). Therefore, the head of the White Tower and the head of the Black Tower should answer for these actions.

2) The head of the Black Tower has demonstrably accepted responsibility for the aforementioned actions. The head of the Black Tower has offered reparations for those actions to the White Tower, and that compensation was accepted by representatives of the White Tower. The bare minimum requirements of diplomacy have been initiated, and it could be argued that sufficient diplomatic behavior has been met by the head of the Black Tower (although that’s more of an opinion than a fact).

The head of the White Tower has deflected and/or rejected responsibility linked to these actions. The head of the White Tower has not offered any reparations, or even issued official acknowledgement that the acts have occurred. The head of the Black Tower has made an effort to investigate the action of their subordinates. The head of the White Tower has not appeared to have investigated any of the actions of their subordinates.

3) If the proposed reparations were deemed unsatisfactory to the White Tower, than the representatives should have rejected them as such. The proposed reparations were not rejected. The reparations agreement is in the process of being completed. The White Tower (either its head of state or its legislative body) can choose to cancel that process if they so desire and renegotiate. They have made no demonstrative effort to do so.

As for Egwene’s relation to the other channeling groups:

1) Windfinders: As Amyrlin, Egwene does have the reality of the Bargain that Nynaeve and Elayne negotiated. The Bargain does not provide any leverage for calling on the Windfinders as allies. In actuality (at this point in the story), the White Tower is currently in debt to the Windfinders in terms of freeing any Aes Sedai of Athan Miere origin and providing a number of Aes Sedai for a year’s worth of service to the Windfinders fully under the authority of the Windfinders (or Mistress of Ships).

The Amyrlin and the White Tower are in debt to the Windfinders. There is no authority over the Windfinders written in their existing Bargain, and no connection other than someone who is in debt has with their debtors. I can't call on Sallie Mae to aid me in my dispute with my neighbor, just because I'm paying off student loans (other than possible deferrment or relief of my payments). No more than normal, anyway. I'm sure the Windfinders would be willing to accept another Bargain; especially if Nynaeve and Elayne were to negotiate :-)

2) Aiel Wise Ones: As Amyrlin, Egwene has no authority or formal relationship with the Aiel Wise Ones. As an individual, Egwene’s relationship with the Wise Ones was most recently as apprentice (and as a fellow Dreamer). The Wise Ones currently have several existing Aes Sedai "apprentices," all of which the Wise Ones currently hold authority over.

The Aiel Wise Ones do currently have a connection with (and a loose fealty to) the Dragon Reborn, and do employ their Aes Sedai apprentices to aid in his service, when applicable. By the transitive property (that those who are trying to tie Egwene to the Aiel are using when arguing White Tower authority over the Wise Ones) the Dragon Reborn has a stronger connection and ties to the Wise Ones; not to mention currently more authority over the Wise One novices who are Aes Sedai then the White Tower and office of the Amyrlin has over the Aiel. He granted authority over the majority of them to the Wise Ones, after all.

3) The Kin: The Amyrlin does have a relationship with (and some type of authority in regards to) the Kin. The reason why I state these are the weakest of the 3 groups, has purely to do with their relative strength levels (a lot of the Kin are weak in the Power, as their numbers include Tower rejects as well as runaways), lack of training in the Power, and current status of readiness (that roll call of approximately 1500 are scattered throughout the various nations of Randland, and a good number of them are behind Seanchan lines and possibly captured). In that sense, they are the weakest.

Even their numbers most likely don’t represent equal numbers with the 2 other groups. The Aiel Wise Ones had a couple of hundred channelers in just one clan; projections of over 2000 Aiel Wise One channelers would therefore be conservative. Windfinder numbers aren’t so easy to determine, but if there were a couple of hundred ships in the Ebou Dar harbor alone, you estimate one Windfinder per ship, and then realize that that is nowhere near the bulk of the Windfinder forces, excluding apprentices, then I think at least 2000 Athan Miere channelers is a logical or safe estimate.

EDIT: Heh. I initially confused "transference property" with "transitive property." Darn Psych terms kick in at the weirdest times. Also, grammar and clarification.
Let me get this straight.... (lol).

A group of 50 channelers are sent by the Amyrlin Seat (it matters not who the Amyrlin is personally, only that it is the Amyrlin) with orders to, for all intents and purposes, kill anyone living in the Black Tower compound.

Now usually when someone comes at you like that, you are well within your rights to kill them all, seeing as how they are trying to kill you. It is an act of war. The Amyrlin Seat unofficially declared war against all male channelers with those orders. (Not that they weren't technically doing that already)

Why does anyone think any of those Tower sanctioned assassins, deserves anything less than execution? Those lives are forfiet.

They're not slaves! Helloooo! McFlyyyyy!.......... They're prisoners!

They should be dead and we're arguing over whether or not they should be bonded?
Bonding the Aes Sedai has a nice little way of tracking any of them should they be stupid enough to run. And since none of those fifty (Fifty... They sent 50. Not 5. Not even the Morbid 13... No Fifty!) know how to Travel? Sounds like a dungeon to me! Not!

Come on! Talk about being biased!!!

Rand owes the White Tower nothing in that regard. The White Tower should be negotiating Terms for the Prisoner's release.

William Fettes
199. Wolfmage
The Tower contingent were under orders to gentle and hang every man they found at the BT. As captives, they are military detainees and ought to be entitled to something like POW treatment despite their brazen intention to kill.

Forcible bonding is needless to say deeply problematic even though it is obviously preferable to death.

So I understand why Egwene is uneasy about it - but it's still a small blemish compared to what Elaida did.
200. Freelancer
Yepper. Small blemish. Teensy.

To the point where Egwene, if she knew all the facts, should rightly send a thank you to Logain for not burning all those sisters to cinders immediately.
Alice Arneson
201. Wetlandernw
@several - Don't forget that only Elaida, Alviarin and Toveine knew about the gentle-and-hang orders. I'm reasonably sure Egwene still doesn't know that part; had their orders been according to Tower Law, they would have been doing their duty as defined for the past 3000 years. That hardly calls for the death penalty.
It doesn't matter that Only such and such knew about the orders. The Amyrlin is the high seat of the White Tower. Just because the entire Tower didn’t know doesn't give the entire Tower a pass. If a sovereign orders the Nuking of New York City, we're not going to care that the population of said Sovereign governance didn’t know. We're gonna Nuke them back. And we might not stop with one.

The Tower sent Fifty Aes Sedai, arriving complicit, enough to level a city Easily, to Assassinate the denizens of the Black Tower. Period. They deserved more than they got. The Tower itself deserved more than they got. If the Tower can't be responsible for the actions of their associates or the orders of their raised Amyrlin, then why should any Sovereign government or any other, pay any bit of respect to that now rogue entity?

It was Tower sanctioned. It included a group of Fifty Aes Sedai and their Warders with a small army as support. That Is significant and cannot be brushed aside with a "Wasn't Me" as a defense.

Tower law? Doing their duty for 3000 years? Who cares if it's Tower Law. Tower Law isn't the Law of the Land. And it is most certainly meaningless to all the lives that have perished by the tenets of Tower Law. Just as those Ash'aman and their families don't give two cahoots about Tower Law.

They want to live. And they have the right to. That's all they gotta know.

204. Surmiser

Egwene warned everyone she could. Most did not believe her.
I was not surprised Egwene went to the Fireballs. I doubt it had much to do with trying to impress the TAS,
These two lines are like matter and anti-matter. They annihilate each other.
For my part I think Egwene used what she knew to be the most effective saidar weaves in battle -the Great Balls of Fire (as she saw them at the battle of Cairhien). She could have also opted for the Psycho Weave that Lanfear used at the docks but there would be much collateral damage.
205. Surmiser
Balefire? she seen this weave too and it would easily reverse the damaging attacks of the Seanchan. But that would turn the rest of the Aes Sedai against her. Why would they follow her when openly she is seen to break the Tower ban on using balefire?
Valentin M
206. ValMar
Egwene didn't know of Elaida's orders for murdering the Ashaman on the spot. But she knew that even if they were sent to deal with them in accordance of Tower Law, this would've ammounted to an attack on the Black Tower. Does anyone really believes that Egwene thinks it likely that 50 AS and many Tower Guards were sent by Elaida as an embassy?!

The bonding was iffy, but it happened as a result of an attack by the WT on the BT, and paired with the kidnapping and torture of Rand himself. At a glance this looks like a war. Egwene knows these things. The only thing she doesn't know is how viciuos Elaida's orders were to Toveine.
That's why Egwene's beligerence and moral indignation in this matter annoys me, especially compared to Rand's lack of it.
207. Third
171. Wetlandernw
"Aside from that, as the Amyrlin, she has greater authority than any king or queen: even during the AOL, and reinstated with the establishment of the WT, the leader of the Aes Sedai has the authority to summon national and world leaders. In terms of recognized authorities, Egwene actually stands higher than Rand. That's not delusional."
The glossary disagrees with you.
"The Amyrlin Seat has, theoretically, supreme authority among the Aes Sedai, and ranks as the equal of a king or queen."
Glen V
208. Ways
And congratulations to Free for grabbing some hunny! Didn't think we'd get there this time or I might have turned off that ridiculously officiated NFL game to play in here last night.
Valentin M
209. ValMar
Third @ 207

In practice the Amyrlin has more influence than that. But Rand currently has more inluence than the Amyrlin. It's a bit sad that we have descended into who amongst Rand and Eg has the biggest desk(just as well that not both of them are men ;) ).
Rand would win this by default, of course. He is the Dragon and we are into the climax of the story when he is at his apex of power. Egwene doesn't know as much as we, plus is burdened with her own image of Rand and is having a typical "AS arrogance" affliction.
210. alreadymadwithrand&eg
ValMar @173
Like normal weaves, inverted weaves don't become static unless "tied off."

HeWhoLurksBeneath @179
Good luck getting the Aes Sedai to liaise with the army on a regular basis. Besides, it's not like they had a time frame for the attack. And such vigilance is difficult to maintain without an expectation of how long it is required.

Wetlandernw @201
Logain knows too. He read Toveine's orders before burning them.

On Egwene's rank:
Realistically, she is the top executive power for what amounts to a small island nation. It has an army, a city it can tax, territory it protects, etc. This is on top of the influence the Aes Sedai have accumulated over the centuries. It isn't a patch on Rand's Car'a'carn, Coramoor, King of Illian thing, though.
Valentin M
211. ValMar
Alreadymad, yep, it was explained already about the inverted weaves. So far they've been used in a static manner, at least with the more obvious cases.
212. Ryanus
Going on from what Zex mentioned in 198.

Let's play Leigh's gender swap game. At least partially anyway.

Let's, for the sake of arguement, assume that Elaida didn't send these 50 sisters and their small army after the Black Tower. Let's say she decided to do this to the Wise Ones. Let's even be nice and change the orders from kill to "capture and drag back to be put in white."

Would the Aiel doing what the BT did be getting this same level of "How horrible?" More importantly, would Egwene be in an outrage then? Or would she be trying to mend fences and negotiate with the Wise Ones for the sister's release?

Half of Egwene's stance MAY come from her lack of knowledge, but that lack of knowledge is because she doesn't want to know. She's already decided firmly that those untrustworthy men kidnapped all those sisters, never mind the actual facts of the situation or that Logain has PROVEN himself trustworthy multiple times to Siuan and Egwene. Men should not have Aes Sedai prisoner and that's that.
213. alreadymadwithweaves
ValMar @211
Rand's defenses around Callandor in the Heart of the Stone are a good example of those. Inverted weaves that are tied off to be traps.
214. Surmiser
Italics below are Pasted from Leigh's recap above:
but she is still not happy with the situation. Nynaeve interjects that Rand didn’t approve of it either.
“It doesn’t matter if he did or not,” Egwene said. “The Asha’man are his responsibility.”


This entire scene screams for a re-write/re-edit and Leigh was sharp to zero in on this.
If you guys want to portray a "great leader" POV, make sure to remove and leave on the cutting floor ----> any dialog that shows the leader as playing the Blame Game
because it totally breaks character.

I would allow it before epiphany. Maybe during Wise One apprenticeship. maybe during the Falme kennel training period.
But never when you have taken over and become leader of the
most awesome gathering of temporal power and mystical Power.
Beyond ascension of power, one should expect the great leader to conserve his energy and focus on gathering status,clarifying Orders and engaging in decisive Actions.
/end rant
215. Surmiser
continue from 214

What makes Ituralde's scenes awesome?
Inpiste of setbacks, he doesn't play the Blame Game.
Egwene should not be seen doing that.
It's not a gender thing.
216. Surmiser
continue from 215

Beyond ascension of power, one should expect the great leader to conserve his/her energy and focus on gathering status,clarifying Orders and engaging in decisive Actions.

I would add boosting troope morale and promoting loyalty
but Egwene demonstrated that when she was raised Amyrlin by TAS.
Eric Hughes
217. CireNaes
So where are we all headed with this? How about a different track that I'm really interested in.

What would it take Egweneiphobes? Sound off. I really would like to know what would make her more tolerable or maybe even likeable to you as a reader. A public apology to Rand for Elaida's and the Black Ajah's actions as the current Amyrlin? Complete obedience to whatever Rand proposes with no critical feedback or even refusal? Should she be stripped of her stole for slightly narrowing her eyes at Nynaeve? Anything's fair game.

Another fair question, as Rand's story arc used to make me outraged on his behalf. Are accusations and interpretations of Egwene's actions based on limited information a misplaced anger for Rand's difficulties?

Do readers here share my past emotional response? 10 years ago I wanted the Aes Sedai to be publically humiliated and put in their rightful place well below Rand. I was incensed at his treatment. I felt that the stilling of some of the sister's who shielded him in addition to the unquestioning obedience of others was not enough. That they should all have been executed. I loved the kneel or be knelt line from Taim. I held everyone but Rand responsible for his downward spiral. Heck, I liked the fact that Rand toughed it out and never talked about anything. We all saw where that took Rand as a human being. And where Rand goes, the Pattern goes.
@214 Surmiser

I guess for some here, that works for Egwene and the Aes Sedai , but not Rand and the Ash'aman.

@217 CireNaes

The "Kneel or be Knelt" is and always will be my favorite one liner in the series . Just ahead of Mat's "Saidared it" line.

"Kneel before Zod! "
"Some times, you just gotta say, Fuckit!"
"Find them and Destroy them! "
"It's the one that says Bad Mutha Fuckah on it"
"I love it when a plan comes together!"
"I will find you and I will kill you "
And the all time great...

" Go ahead, (click) make my day! "

Kimani Rogers
220. KiManiak
CireNaes@217 – I don’t know what you’d consider an “Egweneiphobe.” Someone who fears all Egwenes? Someone who hates all Egwenes? Someone who hates all Egwenes because they fear them? :-)

I wouldn’t place myself in any of those categories, but I hope you don’t mind if I try to quickly (well, quickly for me, anyway) respond to (what I think is) your main request, about this particular Egwene (Egwene al’Vere); I can’t speak for any other Egwenes you may be referring to.

I have no great dislike for Egwene overall; I definitely don’t fear or hate her. She does currently rub me the wrong way, though. My major issues with Egwene have been: hypocrisy; a demand for respect (whether it be her skills, ideas or position) when she did not or does not give the same type of respect to others; an expectation of loyalty and blind trust from her friends when she doesn’t offer the same; an expectation of accountability when she doesn’t hold herself to the same; her inability to view her friends’ development while expecting that they recognize and respect hers; etc. I’ve said all of this before.

Each of our Superkids have major personality flaws. Most of them suffer from a type of doubt, recrimination, crisis or realization/ epiphany that allows them to consider their flaws and deal with them. It allows for them to grow emotionally in step with their growth in skill, power and authority (although sometimes it has taken a few books for that to occur). Egwene has not done that yet, and so I continue to acknowledge it and criticize it. When (if) she does finally take a serious “look in the mirror,” and "make that change" I will praise her and cheer for that moment of self-analysis and actualization.

Let me ask you, though: Do you honestly believe the criticism of her is unfounded? Have the rereaders not criticized Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve, et al when they commit major blunders? Hasn’t this group labeled Perrin as “emo,” and Rand as “Dark Rand?” Haven’t the majority (or at least a decent number) of those critics also stated how they appreciated the maturation and self-realization of the same characters they criticized, once that maturation/self-realization occurred? Didn't you cheer when Rand finally realized the error of his ways on that mountain? Do you honestly believe that if (when) Egwene shows the same type of maturation and self-realization (that isn’t driven by her ambition and selfishness, but instead is driven by her compassion and desire to be a better person and friend), the criticism won’t decrease and the praise for her won't come out?

I agree with one of your final points: “toughing it out” and “never talking about anything” is a recipe for disaster. Now, show me where Egwene talks about any of her major decisions with her friends and confidants, and truly listens to their opinion? When the conversation is friend to friend (or even person to person), and not Amyrlin to subordinate?

And yes! New post is here!
Eric Hughes
221. CireNaes

It is a great one liner. Mine is Rand's "I am the Lord of the Morning." Great delivery with forward movement. The past self influencing the future self.
222. Third
209. ValMar
"In practice the Amyrlin has more influence than that."
Sure, but "influence" and "rank" are two different things - any commoner with a large army (like Mat) could have more influence than a noble or king. The glossary makes clear that the Amyrlin ranks as the equal of a king or queen, so Egwene wasn't really entitled to treat the King of Illian as her inferior in ToM. Perhaps that's why some readers like Wetlandernw are convinced Egwene stands higher than Rand: after all, Egwene herself seems to believe it.

The Amyrlin has traditionally been able to summon kings and queens, but that power rests on the Tower's ability to intimidate various monarchs. Monarchs don't _have_ to go if summoned to the Amyrlin; they just choose to do so because they fear Aes Sedai. If they don't go when summoned, the Tower might just throw its support behind a more Aes Sedai-friendly rival or find some other way to cause problems for the monarch.

Things are changing now, however, with other channeling groups emerging and the Seanchan taking over much of Randland. Beslan listens to Tuon, not Egwene. Aes Sedai no longer wield as large a stick as they used to. In the future, monarchs could also point at the destruction of Caemlyn as an example of why it's a bad idea to listen to the Amyrlin's requests.
"It's a bit sad that we have descended into who amongst Rand and Eg has the biggest desk(just as well that not both of them are men ;) )."
Well, Tuon's got them both beat, anyway. And I don't really care who has the biggest desk, only what is factually correct, and it is ridiculous to claim that Egwene stands higher than Rand. Egwene could even be replaced at any time, should the Hall decide to, and is limited in what she can do without the Hall's consent, so in some ways she has less power than a king or queen.
"Rand would win this by default, of course. He is the Dragon and we are into the climax of the story when he is at his apex of power."
I would disagree with the latter, actually. He's still feared and hated by many, has yet to save the world, and most people don't know the Taint is gone. The Dragon's Fang is still used to frighten people as recently as in ToM. Min's viewing, on the other hand, speaks of the Dragon's Fang as "a sign of victory and hope." There's more power to come, even if it might not be in the shape of titles or large armies.
Eric Hughes
223. CireNaes
Do you honestly believe that if (when) Egwene shows the same type of maturation and self-realization (that isn’t driven by her ambition and selfishness, but instead is driven by her compassion and desire to be a better person and friend), the criticism won’t decrease and the praise for her won't come out?
So it is the perception of what drives her behavior for you that puts you at odds with her character. I'm guessing on that one, feel free to clarify. And I believe this is where the vast majority of the debate stems from. I would say her personal drive is to be the best to make the best result. And because she assimilates well she is also able to "ease the badger" with other hard to steer organizations on assimilation points too. But that last point is somewhat off topic.
Now, show me where Egwene talks about any of her major decisions with her friends and confidants, and truly listens to their opinion? When the conversation is friend to friend (or even person to person), and not Amyrlin to subordinate?
The gauntlet has been thrown down. Anyone here have a WoT example? I think we are really making progress in narrowing things down to their core. I will put one additional element into play though. I have been lower Enlisted, an NCO, and an Officer. Your last sentence is profoundly difficult to actualize and often has disasterous results.
224. Surmiser
I cannot claim to be Egwenophobe because i like her char
and what she stands for

During Egwene's power lunch with Nyn i would expect
info gathering, building strategy, discussing how they can
raise priority of healing BT
(Nyn healed Naeff madness in a previous CH)
mention that Elayne has full authority to enter BT
(as Queen of Andor)

grant special authority and commit resources to helping Cads and Nyn

Basically any general outline or action plan...
its not like the Black Tower was not prophecied to be rended in blood and fire and ashes and shit. There is no need to protect the reader from spoiler surprise here.

And dont make the BT look so freakin weak by putting pov focus on their weakest link. I want to see that Black Tower in all their untarnished awesomeness before the White tower steps in and shows them who's BOSS
Kimani Rogers
225. KiManiak
CireNaes@223 - I welcome discussion of these topics; I continue to maintain that almost all discussion about WoT is fun, or at least worthwhile. In that regard, I welcome anyone responding to "the guantlet" and narrowing things down to their core.

However, I would appreciate a little quid pro quo. I responded to your statements; I notice you didn't respond to any of my questions.
(Let me ask you, though: Do you honestly believe the criticism of her is unfounded? Have the rereaders not criticized Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve, et al when they commit major blunders? Hasn’t this group labeled Perrin as “emo,” and Rand as “Dark Rand?” Haven’t the majority (or at least a decent number) of those critics also stated how they appreciated the maturation and self-realization of the same characters they criticized, once that maturation/self-realization occurred? Didn't you cheer when Rand finallyrealized the error of his ways on that mountain? Do you honestly believe that if (when) Egwene shows the same type of maturation and self-realization (that isn’t driven by her ambition and selfishness, but instead is driven by her compassion and desire to be a better person and friend), the criticism won’t decrease and the praise for her won't come out?)
This would also help to narrow things down to their core. I'm just as curious about your views and perceptions, if you're willing to share...
226. Surmiser
@219 Zexxes

"Remember the Maine"
"Remember the Alamo"
"Remember Dumai's wells? because its kneeling time babies.
Payback's a bitch"
227. Surmiser
During the Nyn-Egw power lunch i also found it irritating that
Nyn never mentions that she might need some help from Egw for Lan's excursion into Tarwin's Gap.
In contrast, in a previous book Nyn would gate all over the Borderlands
calling on former Malkieri stalwarts and forgotten lords with little power to rally them to...(pure emo and lacking a bit in substance)
228. Surmiser
continue from 227

I seriously expect Nyn to face the head Windfinder
and sell her soul to get them to use the Bowl of the winds
to help Lan. But for her not to even hint to Egw that she needs help...

beg borrow steal (that's the state of mind she should be in)
utterly lacks flavor.
Valentin M
229. ValMar
Third @ 222

I get what you are saying about the technicality of the Amyrlin's rank. I was merely pointing out the practical status of her power.
Re: Tuon. I forgot to consider the Seanchan :/ I still think Rand is more powerful than them in sheer strenght- I think he directly can call on 6-700 000 fighters and he too has channelers. Also there is Maradon. The guy can Travel to any major Seanchan concentration of force and trash it. In a few hours Rand can reduce the Seanchan strenght considerably.
Re: your last paragraph. Rand isn't beloved by everyone, of course. This doesn't change the power status quo at the moment. Many people revile the AS, Seanchan, and the Aiel too. As for what will happen after TG, we don't know what will happen. I personally doubt that Rand will yield the kind of power and influence we talk about now and compare between him, Egwene/WT, Seanchan.
Nadine L.
230. travyl
Re Rand/Egwene discussion of resonsability and culpability
I agree that it is not important if Elaida's order was known. Wheter to immediately kill or, capture and later severe from the OP, the Asha'man did the best thing they could to prevent it and not kill the invading sisters. (Logain's initial capture showed, that the Aes Sedai would do everything to capture a male Channeler).
So if the Asha'man didn't do anything wrong, why does Rand offer retribution at all? And why not order to release the bondes Aes Sedai but instead let Asha'man be forcibly bonded in exchange (Rand declares that his soldiers cannot refuse the Bond!).
So why order more people into a forced bond? Maybe because Rand knew that these bondes Channelers would later present a link between White and Black Tower and might make dealings in the future better?
In any case I am not fond of that move, since I never liked how Cadsuane's AS treated their Asha'man.
Stefan Mitev
231. Bergmaniac
The Randland monarchs are supposed to kiss Amyrlin's ring when they meet, which indicated that at least in theory she is considered above them.
232. Surmiser
@ 217 CireNaes

Do readers here share my past emotional response? 10 years ago I wanted the Aes Sedai to be publically humiliated and put in their rightful place well below Rand. I was incensed at his treatment. I felt that the stilling of some of the sister's who shielded him in addition to the unquestioning obedience of others was not enough. That they should all have been executed.

RJ's genius was that he used powerful words to evoke such an intense emotional flipflop when visualizing Ashaman. These were the men who could destroy the world. In fact they decimated continents and made life miserable for all the survivors that for three thousand yrs, those who channel saidin were cast off from society (as a minimum).

After Dumai's wells, the readers now sympathize with them and treat those AS yes those people who had been keeping the world safe- those are now cast as villains that need to be stilled, mangled, fed to the carrion etcetera.

If we go by prophecy that the BT is going to be razed, I somehow expect some similar writing genius to flipflop back to this - that the White Tower had all the right intentions all along and the Ashaman
are .... (you can complete this thought - anybody's guess at this point)
Eric Hughes
233. CireNaes
Do you honestly believe the criticism of her is unfounded?

More like over indulged for reasons I go into in your last question.

Have the rereaders not criticized Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve, et al when they commit major blunders?

Yup. But motivations separate the majors from the minors for me. Even for Cadsuane.

Hasn’t this group labeled Perrin as “emo,” and Rand as “Dark Rand?”

Now this is complex as opinions range all over the board among our happy little community. Personally, I've never been in the Perrin emo camp. His reactions as a newly wed always felt accurate to me. Compound that with his entire genetic family being slaughtered and the relatively short time he takes to come to grips with Faile having to be in danger, let's just say I find the emo Perrin accusations to be unrealistic and insensitive to his situation. Therefore they are overblown. Rand has been exposed to pure evil both passively (channeling through the taint) and actively (channeling the True Power in addition to being cut by the Shadar Logoth dagger). Combine that with his massive anger/past life grief issues and things don't often turn out for the best. I think most folks here use it an easy descriptor of Rand flirting with the point of no return. Not as an accusatory judgment label. Understanding is often granted to Rand in addition to the criticism. That's something I seldom see granted to other characters.

Haven’t the majority (or at least a decent number) of those critics also stated how they appreciated the maturation and self-realization of the same characters they criticized, once that maturation/self-realization occurred?

I'm sticking with my motivation/context as key to intrinsic character drives causing an overabundance of criticism combined with impatience. That kind of appreciation is typically couched with an "about time" feel to it and revolves around the defense or attack of the motivating factors or core character traits.

Didn't you cheer when Rand finally realized the error of his ways on that mountain?

Honestly, I just smiled a little and turned the page. I knew he had it in him.

Do you honestly believe that if (when) Egwene shows the same type of maturation and self-realization (that isn’t driven by her ambition and selfishness, but instead is driven by her compassion and desire to be a better person and friend), the criticism won’t decrease and the praise for her won't come out?

I don't. I think she's an easy target to blame and a good portion of the readership needs someone who will be around after the LB to pin Rand's sufferings on. I've got a hunch that some readers need long term acknowledgement and reparation for sufferings to the savior from someone that has the potential (read misguided Light Sider human) to actually feel bad for what was done. That's my interpersonal theory and I'm sticking to it.

I hope that quoed the quid for you. Vised the vis. That sort of thing.
Kimani Rogers
234. KiManiak
CireNaes@233 - I acknowledge your response. Yes, tit was indeed exchanged for tat.

Good luck in your quest for that different track.
Birgit F
235. birgit
Do you honestly believe that if (when) Egwene shows the same type of maturation and self-realization (that isn’t driven by her ambition and selfishness, but instead is driven by her compassion and desire to be a better person and friend), the criticism won’t decrease and the praise for her won't come out?

Eg's motivations are where Eg haters and Eg defenders disagree. Those who insist that Eg is a megalomaniac might never agree that Eg might have good motives for her actions, while the defenders insist that she has to act that way to rule the AS.
When Eg was in the little cell and realized what it must have been like for Rand in the box the haters didn't appreciate that she shows some understanding but said "how can she compare her situation to his when his was much worse". There are other examples where those who dislike Eg insisted on finding bad aspects in every good thing Eg did. Of course she isn't perfect and adopts many of the bad aspects of the groups she identifies with, but she does mean well.
Kimani Rogers
236. KiManiak
birgit@235 - And for those of us who neither hate Egwene nor always feel the need to defend her?

Does Egwene sometimes have “good” motives for her decisions? Any reader with a shred of objectivity should say yes. Does Egwene sometimes have “bad” motives for her decisions? Again, any reader with a shred of objectivity should say yes. She's human, right? RJ definitely wrote her that way.

Does Egwene “have to act that way to rule the AS?” I have seen fans/supporters of Egwene criticize her methods. (I have also seen those who are often critical of Egwene praise her, by the way). Does Egwene have to be strong, firm, clever, assertive and innovative to lead the AS? Most likely. How about manipulative? Deceptive? Uncompromising? Sexist? Superior? Tyrannical? Where is the line drawn? Is your “line” and my “line” supposed to be the same? If not, shouldn’t we each be able to state when we think the line has been crossed, without reaching the labeled extremes of "hater" or "lover?"

You state that Egwene’s motivations are where “Egwene haters” and “Egwene defenders” disagree? Are you therefore painting all “Egwene defenders” with the same radical and extreme opinions as you appear to paint “Egwene haters,” just at different ends of the spectrum (shouldn't the opposite of an Egwene hater be an Egwene lover, by the way)? Shouldn’t there be a range of opinions about Egwene along that spectrum, with the vast majority of folks falling somewhere between the two extremes?

It’s unfortunate when some see criticism as blind hate, or support as blind love. When those who criticize Egwene’s actions do so for various reasons that they express, they’re not (all) blindly hating on Egwene. It’s easy to label them as such, but it’s kinda lazy in my opinion.

As far as Egwene meaning well, meaning well for whom, exactly; and how often? (This is after all the same girl who seeks to aid and support Rand in TSR and TFoH, then seeks to bully and manipulate Nynaeve so that Egwene won’t get caught doing what she wasn’t supposed to be doing in the dreamworld in TFoH or LoC, I forget which off the top of my head.) And does meaning well exempt folks from criticism? When did that happen? Don’t most rulers “mean well,” it’s just their actions that need to be questioned? Isn’t the figurative road to hell often paved with good intentions?

Support Egwene or don’t support her, hate her or love her; it’s your choice. But no one should be above criticism for their motives and for their actions. As long as folks explain their criticism and are willing to defend it, I see no problem with them offering it.
Alice Arneson
238. Wetlandernw
Still, I've seen a lot of people (yes, here) that fall into exactly the categories that birgit proposed, and a lot fewer that don't. Most of the time, those who are strongly critical of Egwene base it (in their arguments) on their interpretation of her motives, and those are never allowed to be good. Mostly (by them), she is assumed to be petty, arrogant, self-serving, self-centered and self-important. The times when someone criticizes her actions without assuming that description, it's likely to be someone who generally defends her, and it doesn't happen all that often.
Eric Hughes
239. CireNaes
Support Egwene or don’t support her, hate her or love her; it’s your choice. But no one should be above criticism for their motives and for their actions. As long as folks explain their criticism and are willing to defend it, I see no problem with them offering it.
I agree that no one should be above criticism for their motives or actions. Then I see some hefty descriptors bandied about when Egwene comes into play (and Perrin/Faile). Descriptors well warranted if she had all the information or what I strongly believe to be her motivation were ignoble. I defend reasonable character responses due to context and I don't throw the character's personality onto the mat of judgment when I can't see enough cause for it.

So for me, some critiques of Egwene look to be poorly supported character assassinations.
You know, it's kind of funny. Every male channeler on the face of Randland likely knew something was going on on top of Dragonmount. And I'd be willing to bet any and all of those on the side of the Dark just knew that the Dragon Reborn became the Dragon- Champion of the Light on that day.

But not one female channeler has any clue, other than what they've been told. And they still don't believe it. They don't want to believe it. Because that means everything has changed. They aren't better than a man anymore. A man breaking the world will now have to be acknowledged along side a man saving the world. The one strength that females had over them is gone now. The might of womanhood can be challenged. Their authority now has a check, for the Guardians can be the Servants balance.

And Egwene is a prime example of the Servant needing to acknowledge the balancing Guardians. The Tower still feel that Male channelers need to be dealt with somehow. I'd go so far as to say that it's a form bigotry that's in play here. And as long as any of the woman channelers are running around trying to Handle or Guide any male channelers, they are going to fail now. Because they don't have a leg to stand on any longer.

The whole reason or at least, the main reason for their existence in its present form, is gone now. Or will be. And a new outlook will need to be found to sustain the need for their order. Because it can no longer be the way it was. All of Aes Sedai will need to acknowledge that. Especially Egwene. And herein lies the problem now. She doesn't even see it. She is as blind as Rand was. She thinks that she will be the head of the most powerful entity in the world. She has yet to truly acknowledge what the Black Tower is;what it means. And if the Dragon lives, their will be no doubt who will be number one in the minds of the masses.

I think this is the fear of Egwene. It's a game to her. And quite a simple one. Be better than Rand. Remember she left with Rand for reasons that amount to jealousy. I think she's still carrying that around with her. And if Rand wins out in the end, she wants everyone to say that he couldn't done it without her.

My opinion only. Don't know if I half believe every word.

But I don't think that makes me fall into a category of hater. I have said just as bad about Rand and he Is my favorite character. Even over Mat. And I love me some Mat. Best Friend I ever had. But the problem is acknowledging that Egwene has some BIG character flaws and some of us refuse to properly acknowledge them. She is all kinds of Awesome and some of us don't acknowledge that enough.

And there are the infinite shades of grey where somewhere I fall. Some people love categories and pigeon holes. I detest them for the most part. There will always be a need for structure, but it not all things exist on one plane. People especially.

Alice Arneson
241. Wetlandernw
Well, you may change your mind about what Egwene thinks when you read AMoL.
James Whitehead
242. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@241Wetlandernw, as River Song says warringly "Spoilers." ;-)


PS - The doesn't work if you don't know Dr. Who obviously.
Dawn Boyall
243. deebee
Did Rand actually channel on Dragonmount? I know he drew massive amounts of saidin, but I didn`t think other saidin-users would be aware of that unless they were close by. So what is going to make all the male channellers in the world aware of the Zen-Rand transformation?

Have I misunderstood something here?
Alice Arneson
244. Wetlandernw
deebee - IIRC, you are correct. Rand drew saidin but didn't weave anything. It's questionable as to whether his driving all the Power he held back into the access key involved channeling or not.

FWIW, when Brandon was asked whether male channelers could feel what Rand did, he said "I would certainly think they would have been able to, consistent with what has happened before." Note the wording; no one thought to make the connection with whether he was merely holding the Power and then shoved it into the key, or whether he channeled it into the key, and Brandon only said "I would think so".
Eric Hughes
245. CireNaes
And Ki. I enjoy most of your posts. My brevity is driven by time constaints. I hope it doesn't come off as snippy. I read every post and that doesn't always leave me the space in my schedule to go point for point. You, Mac, Z, and Wet, you all need get more sleep...
246. Freelancer
That pot over there, yes, the Egwene pot. It needs more stirring...

Part of what drives some readers to take a predominantly negative view of Egwene's actions, and to presumptively ascribe negative motivations to her every decision, is based upon another character.

As I have noted in the recent past, the two characters in the story who produce the largest number of "favorite" results are Mat and Nynaeve. Egwene begins the story as an incipient apprentice to the Wisdom. For several books she remains clearly subordinate, and held firmly there by both her opinion of Nynaeve and by Nynaeve's force of will, as well as her greater age, experience, and rank.

While separated from one another, Egwene begins taking initiative in a variety of ways, as she is wont to do, and under the tutelage of the Wise Ones, becomes adept at walking the Dream. In this realm, she is clearly superior to Nynaeve. She begins to take advantage of that, and also uses it to prevent her extra-curricular forays into T'a'R from being uncovered due to Nynaeve's big mouth. This action, taken in a panic, reveals a method of gaining and sustaining an advantage in dealing with Nynaeve, which Egwene gladly employs to substantial effect.

Well, how dare she manipulate folks' favorite overbearing female character? It's simply uncalled for, and bad form. Henceforth, Egwene shall be considered arrogant, selfish, hypocritical and belligerent. So there!
Kimani Rogers
247. KiManiak
Wet@238 – See the issue I have with your “I’ve seen a lot of…” argument, is that we tend to be creatures of our own biases; we see what we want to see. I respect that you believe that you've seen what you say you saw. I could state that I often see the opposite. Unless someone wants to research every Egwene-oriented comment, tally up the “very negative,” “negative,” “positive” and “very positive” comments (birgit, you would be the most likely candidate but there is no way I would volunteer you for such a tedious task), we will most likely view the history of people’s comments (and their tendencies) in a way that is favorable for our argument at the time.

Wet@241 – Yes, you’re right. But, I’ve got to agree with Kato@242. Although, when I hear the name “River,” my default is usually to go Firefly. Still, I’ve liked Alex Kingston before Summer Glau graduated high school, so I'll go with your Dr. Who reference.

Cire@245 – See, comments like this are why I am strongly considering going to Jordancon and meeting some of the rereaders face to face (although logistically and financially it just isn’t going to happen). It’s impossible to gauge tone with folks you’ve never met and have only interacted with on the internet. I think that its easy for our mind to assign negative motivations or feelings to comments that are critical, rebutative (Hey, I just made up a word! I guess refutative is the closest real word to what I’m saying, but rebutative was more fun to type), or contrary to our points. Especially if we go back and forth with the same person more than once. I really think meeting most of you guys face to face would convey a sense of the type of person that I am and the type of people that you all are, so none of us would read more into comments then what was actually intended. (I can’t do Jordancon, but when BWS has his signing in the Bay Area I look forward to meeting the folks from the reread who are able to make it out.)

I’m not saying this well. Cire, thanks for the clarification so as to make sure there were no hard feelings. I do not hold any towards you (or really anyone on this reread), and I'm glad to see you feel similar. I enjoy reading most comments that make solid arguments, whether I agree with them or not. Especially when I have to consider the points of those comments and then my response (if it even makes sense to give one) carefully. We have some pretty clever folks here, and I have to be near the top of my game to go toe to toe with them.

As for brevity, I hear you. Writing as much as I have for this post eats into a lot of “free” time that was supposed to be devoted towards reading other books and commenting on this week’s WoT post (Still haven’t done it yet; Here’s a little shocker, I’m going to praise Egwene’s handling of the meeting between the 3 groups when I finally get around to posting. I like Egwene’s political savviness here and she created a situation that could be advantageous to all 3 parties). Anyway, I’m nowhere near the level of Wet and Macster; I don’t know how they do it. And Zexxes cracks me up in some posts and has me remembering (or searching for) things he references in others.

Free@246 – Stir away. My feelings for Nynaeve have little bearing on my feelings for Egwene, as I actually was not a big fan of Nynaeve’s until the last couple of books (to where she is now okay, in my book), so you are obviously not talking about me. And since this post is getting way longer then I initially intended, I don't care to refute your claims at this time. Interesting theory, though, with just the proper amount of snark at the end.

Also, if I recall correctly, Nynaeve is one of Brandon Sanderson’s favorite characters (I believe he said as much when he was doing his WoT reread years ago). I think Brandon has shown Egwene to do some amazing things in each of his books so far. Of course, I think he does have Egwene display arrogance, selfishness, hypocrisy and belligerence in TGS and ToM, so go figure…
Birgit F
248. birgit
Eg doesn't always have good motives. When she bullies Ny to hide that she isn't supposed to come to TAR she obviously does the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. But there are less clear situations where the way people interpret Eg's motives tends to depend on if they like her or not.
Valentin M
249. ValMar
Ah, still with Egwene... Perhaps I should also drop it, but if I could I would, but I can't so I shan't...
Some people are too harsh on her, fair enough. I can confidently insist that many aren't and are being objective when criticising her in some occasions and praising her in others. Just as we do with all other WOT main protagonists.
FWIW, I have made extra effort, to no avail apparently, when expressing dislike of some of Eg's actions or opinions to say why I do so. I put forward mitigating factors where I can see them. Or even excuse her altogether when others criticise. E.g. no one in the WT is remotely close to Egwene's ability in T'A'R so why whinge that she gets involved with Mesaana there? Plus, we have to be realistic- the WT is a political snake-pit and needs a hard character to take on it. We have to take the smooth with the rough.

So I'll appeal to our fellow posters here to pay less attention to the more irrationally expressed opinions (e.g. how dare she treat Perrin in T'A'R like this, she should know better!) and concentrate on the others. Otherwise folks get further polarised and stop considering the arguments put forward by other posters, unless they usually agree with them anyway.

Lastly, for me how I view Nyn is not relevant to how I view Eg, too. In fact I like Egwene better than Nyn up to the last two books. The part of Eg's character that irked me and on occasions caused her to act in particular way, she shares it with many other female charatcer in WOT, it's a part of the world-building, as we know. In fact, it was Nyneave who exacerbated it, IMO.
250. Toby1kenobi
76, 77, 78, 79, 91 I stand corrected. I should not take offence. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and to voicing it. I wouldn't want to undermine freedom of speech.

Leigh, carry on as you were.
251. Wortmauer
CireNaes@217: What would it take Egweneiphobes? Sound off. I really would like to know what would make her more tolerable or maybe even likeable to you as a reader.
Like others, I'm not sure what an Egweneiphobe is. Anyway, at bare minimum, and I know I've mentioned this before, she needs to say to Rand, on behalf of the Tower, "We have toh. I ask the favor, that you would help us meet our toh."

Aiel culture is tiresome in a lot of respects, but that line at least would be pretty apt. Until Egwene can bring herself to publicly acknowledge the Tower's debt of honor to the Dragon and the Asha'man, she is dead to me.

(And I'm not suggesting the admission of toh only because of the preferred means of meeting it. That's just a bonus.)
Terry McNamee
252. macster
@129 KiManiak: You do get me to think, but I haven't changed my mind on Egwene (or for that matter, Elayne) any more than you have. I still think they were in the right on certain occasions, and screwed up on others (we just disagree on which is which), and I think they are both good people trying their best to do what's right. And that Egwene isn't a megalomaniac. Sorry! You may say we are just defining it differently, but as far as I know by definition a megalomaniac isn't just someone who is delusional about the power they possess, it's someone who wants that power for its own sake. And while you may claim that isn't what you mean by megalomania, you (and others) have compared Egwene unfavorably to Elaida on numerous occasions in the past. So if you don't think Egwene is seeking power for its own sake like Elaida is, why do you compare her to her, and unfavorably? Why do you (and others) say her oath of fealty is the same as Elaida's Fourth Oath, if you don't think she seeks power for its own sake which is clearly what Elaida would be doing with that oath?

In any event, I am glad, if you are right in stating that, that you don't agree Egwene seeks power for its own sake like Elaida. But in that respect, then, I would humbly submit she is not a megalomaniac. Whether or not she has delusions about her power may or may not be true, but even if it is, that doesn't make her a megalomaniac. I can't recall any time in recent memory she's acted infantile, and most people who think or claim they are omnipotent do so in order to use that power against others. Egwene uses her power (whether real or not) for good, and while she has made mistakes in how and when to use it, particularly in regards to Rand, I don't think anyone can convincingly argue she isn't trying to stop the Dark One and doesn't have the world's best interests at heart. She may (erroneously) believe she must be the one in charge and doing certain things to make it happen, but she is doing so because she wants to see that goal (saving the world) achieved, not because it is imperative to her that she be the one to do it.

If she thinks she must be in charge because she believes only she can save everyone, that is indeed delusional (since only Rand can do that), but it isn't megalomaniacal--because however she may technically fit the definition you mention, I can't think of anyone who does that also doesn't fit the common perception of a megalomaniac as an insane selfish monster who just wants power to rule everyone with. However wrong Egwene is about her power or what she can do with it, the fact she wants it, and wants to use it, only to save everyone makes her a good guy in my book however delusional she may otherwise be. So once she understands Rand's plan and stops opposing him (which, again, she's only doing because she thinks he will destroy the world instead of save it, not because he's challenging her power), I don't see what the problem is.

@130 Zexxes: I agree--what would have been done to the Asha'man, and what was done to Rand, is horrible and does not compare at all to what happened to the Aes Sedai. This is, in fact, why I am being so hard on Egwene for refusing to acknowledge Dumai's Wells or the Black Tower, let alone apologize for it (just because I don't think she's a megalomaniac doesn't mean I think she is faultless or guiltless). All I would say is that what was done to the Aes Sedai shouldn't be forgotten either. It is certainly better than death, and they did bring it on themselves, and Rand already did address it and apologize for it. I would agree, though, that the restitution would be better if eliminated entirely--two wrongs don't make a right, and while the Asha'man did the best and most humane thing they could at the time, it'd be better to simply release the women they bonded. Since that isn't really feasible now though, Egwene should acknowledge that what was done to Rand (and going to be done to the Asha'man) was worse, and apologize/make restitution for that.

@132 Ashenladoka: And that is exactly the argument I really hate seeing. That damned oath of fealty argument. I wish people would drop it, but let me explain it one more time--she didn't do it because she wanted power. She did it because the Aes Sedai in Salidar were refusing to do what they had sworn to do (support the Amyrlin) and, because of this, she couldn't unite the Tower. That's all, that's the only reason. It wasn't because she wanted to make everybody do what she wanted, or because she enjoyed making Aes Sedai bow to her. It was to get them to obey, so that she could spearhead the war effort, bring down Elaida, and unite the Tower. As for there being no bump in the road if she were lost...if she weren't important to the Pattern, why has everything been arranged so that she would gain power and become Amyrlin? Just so a friend of Rand's would be leading the Aes Sedai? I'm pretty sure she is going to have some powerful key role to play in the Last Battle, if it wasn't her gathering all the armies for Rand. And even if the only reason she's needed is because she grew up with Rand, that is still pretty important--remove her, and the Aes Sedai will be led by somebody without even any sympathy or understanding at all for Rand, and without the Aes Sedai it may not be possible to win the battle or reseal the Dark One. Without her it would have been Elaida leading--disaster. Even if it were still Siuan, she doesn't have the personal connection to Rand--however arrogant and delusional Egwene may be with Rand, she's still closer to him than Siuan is.

@144 Wetlander: I was only teasing you, because of your well-known love for Cadsuane and your also well-known defense of Egwene. :) I am well aware you can consider each of them on their own merits and know who to support in a given scene, including a theoretical confrontation between them. I was just amused at the image of you being briefly torn as to who to support, not that I think the scene will actually happen, that you would have to pick sides, or that it'd be hard for you to do so as long as the evidence was clear.

Well said on Egwene vs. Rand and I agree completely. The only caveat I make, and have made all along in this thread, is that regardless whether she or Rand hold more culpability, and whether the crimes on each side are comparable, I think it is wrong for her to refuse to acknowledge what Elaida did, and not to apologize or make restitutions for it. Even if she doesn't think she should, a leader is obligated to do that when their country/its previous leader screws up. In fact I'd say it's even more important when she personally doesn't think it's needed, because doing it anyway would then come across as a magnanimous gesture that can only make the Aes Sedai look better. And, as noted above, help smooth the way for the two Towers to join or at least ally.

@Ways: It may be worth noting that neither Nynaeve nor Siuan objected to Egwene's phrasing. Both of them, but especially Siuan, knew Egwene didn't plan or intend to be captured, so if they thought she meant to imply she had, surely one of them would have said something--if only Siuan interjecting some muttered fish metaphor, like going out with bait fit for a lionfish instead of something smaller and harmless. Short of including additional words regarding her stupidity in the matter, I don't see how else Egwene could have said it. Though they mean the same, I'd have been more inclined to agree with you if she'd said "allowed" instead of "let", since the former has more connotations of something willing. "Let" more implies something that just happened, which you couldn't stop.

@158 KiManiak: It's never been confirmed but I've thought for some time now it must have been Sheriam who betrayed her. It could also have been the Foot Dragging Five in the Salidar Hall, if they thought Egwene being in the Tower (and Elaida's control) would reunite the Tower faster and less painfully than the siege would. The latter could explain why there were Aes Sedai on patrol (the Tower Hall put them there as part of a coordinated effort with the five's info), while the former would explain Katerine's inclusion in the group.

@161 ValMar: Very interesting point...I think you are right. And if so, this seems more fuel for the debate's ultimate point. On the one hand, I don't think anyone would accuse Latra Posae of being a megalomaniac--she may have been delusional to think she had as much power as Lews Therin, but it's clear she did have a lot of power, and she was only trying to stop Lews Therin from doing something she thought would destroy the world. Sound familiar? But this leads into the second point: Egwene may or may not be Latra Posae reborn, but she is certainly fulfilling her role in the Pattern. Which, considering what happened last time, means this is the chance for Egwene to "do it right this time" too, just as it is for Rand/Lews Therin. In which case we can be sure that whether or not she's delusional, Egwene will do it right this time--because we know Rand will, and it seems very likely he won't be able to without the help of all his friends and loved ones, including Egwene.

@212 Ryanus: Very good point.

@223 CireNaes: Very well said. And not only do I think you're absolutely right (since KiManiak has made it quite clear his problems with Egwene are based on what he believes are her motivations), but it explains why we are at an impasse. Because it seems so few are able to ascribe to Egwene any benefit of the doubt, but instead continue to assume her only desire is to be powerful, lord it over others, and control and direct the world because she believes she/women are better and more wonderful than men/Rand. As long as that is the assumed POV toward her and her goals and desires, no one will ever change their mind about her.

As for your gauntlet, I seem to recall Egwene sitting down, discussing her decisions, and listening to advice from Siuan, somewhere in ACOS or POD... In fact didn't she listen to Siuan on the Oath Rod issue, when she'd been intending to do away with the Oaths? In which case that's actually an example of a time she shouldn't have shared her plans or listened to others, since most seem to agree that keeping the rod instead of eliminating it was a bad idea.

@228 Surmiser: Actually at this point Rand has already had his epiphany and told Nynaeve he will get help to Lan; that is likely why she isn't panicking or begging Egwene for help.

@233 CireNaes: Just so my opinion can be heard, I happen to agree with you on Perrin: he's been unfairly attacked for being emo, mostly because his plot dragged on so long and that, combined with the slow pace of publication and reader impatience, has led many to criticize him wrongly. And what he's been through justifies it quite well. As for the response you hope to get re: Egwene, I'm with KiManiak...good luck indeed, because based on how many continue to hate her, and to reject anyone who defends her as being someone who thinks she can do no wrong, we're going to need luck to change that view.

@236 KiManiak: Yes, all true and well and good...but as Wetlander and CireNaes point out, that just doesn't hold water when compared to what Egwene's critics say and how they comport themselves. You may in fact be one of the few who does criticize her actions without attacking her as a person or her motivations...but even you fall into the trap of assuming her motives to be megalomaniacal and that she is just trying to gain power (e.g. the oath of fealty). It is quite possible to criticize her actions (I think she needs to apologize to Rand on behalf of the Tower and offer reparations, that she should be more willing to listen to his plan re: the seals, and that she should release those Aes Sedai from their oath of fealty) while not thinking the worst of her personally or her motivations. But so few seem capable of doing so. This is why the world (or at least the WOT fandom) has problems.

@240 Zexxes: There is some truth to what you say but overall...nope, not buying that's what Egwene feels/believes.

@251 Wortmauer: A bit harsher and more direct than I would have put it, but overall I agree--that is what she needs to do, at least so far as the White Tower's debt to him and the Black Tower.
Alice Arneson
253. Wetlandernw
Okay, a little more pot-stirring if anyone sees it... and if it comes up on another reread thread, I'll say it there.

I finally put my finger on exactly what is wrong with KiManiak's "megalomaniac" definition, which he bases on the "delusions of power and importance" aspect. What's wrong is that Egwene is not psychologically delusional. She may or may not be wrong, but that's not the same thing.

If you've been told all your life, by people you believe, that the bright star that follows Orion is Arcturus, you believe it. You're wrong, of course; that's Sirius, and Arcturus is in another part of the sky altogether, but you aren't "delusional" about it. You're just wrong.

In Egwene's case, there are millenia of history to show that channeling men are unsafe and that the White Tower is the leading defense against the DO (including the taint). On top of that, there are lots of prophecies about the kind of damage the Dragon will do, and not much that clearly gives him an actual leadership role.

It turns out that this time around, the Dragon was raised better, and he may indeed be qualified to plan and lead more than Egwene is ready to accept yet. So far, he hasn't done a lot to demonstrate his wisdom and sanity; though he has shown some pretty good leadership ability, it's not quite clear where he wants to lead everyone. Following a great leader is all well and good - but not if he's leading you over a cliff, eh?

Because this is a fantasy story, and because we get the omniscient view, we know that Rand will turn out to be right and that Egwene will support him in the end. At this stage, he hasn't convinced her yet, and she feels responsible - as the leader of what has been for 3000 years the channeling powerhouse standing against the DO - to stop him if necessary, and to do what she can to make sure he leads in the right direction if he's going to lead. She may or may not be correct in that regard, but she's not delusional about it.
254. Randalthor66
I think the wrong tack was taken in the defense of Perrin in the case of The Whitecloaks vs. Perrin Aybara, and Perrin really needed Perry Mason on this. It was really simple: Two young, scared villagers - and Andoran citizens (even if they didn't know it) - were accosted by an illegal armed force within the boundaries of Andor. So, they were well within their rights to defend themselves against said illegal military force. The wolves didn't even have to come into it, though they likely would have. In that case, any former borderlanders among the Whitecloaks (and Perrin's people, though we know that the WCs wouldn't think too much of their testimony, but it is Morgase that they have to convince) could attest to the fact that wolves do, indeed, attack the forces of the Dark One, because it was already attested to way back in The Great Hunt. Wolves equal darkfriends - NOT!
William McDaniel
255. willmcd
The opening scene is essentially a debate between Egwene and Nynaeve about the White Tower's role in the world, specifically as it relates to Rand, and Team Jordan deliberately uses Siuan as rather "neutral" PoV character. Not neutral in her views, of course (she toes the WT line and agrees with Egwene), but in that she isn't really an active participant in the conversation, so it allows us as readers to witness Egwene and Nynaeve's perspectives without the bias of being inside one of their heads.

I've made no secret in my comments of the fact that I like Nynaeve and dislike Egwene, so there is perhaps little to be gained from me re-visiting those topics (I think Freelancer @ 40 and Wolfmage @96 did an excellent job of articulating most of my frustrations anyhow). I did think it was interesting that, when the discussion turned to the changes which Rand has undergone, Egwene wasn't particularly concerned about whether or not the changes were for weal or for woe; all she voiced was fear over the degree to which he is now able to influence people.

I have no issue with Egwene's "Captain Kirk" decision to get directly involved in the action, as it makes sense from both a textual and meta-textual standpoint (i.e. she is correct that she is the most qualified person in the Tower, and she is also a main character in the story). I do think her refusal to even consider involving Rand was a mis-step (after she has already acknowledged his extreme ability to influence events); of course, we as readers know that more will be accomplished with men and women working together, but I suppose it wouldn't be WoT if the characters started living that out too frequently.

Galad and Gawyn both made huge steps forward as characters in these chapters. First we have Gawyn, who has been such a doofus for so long, making a conscious decision to let go of his hatred for Rand. It was rather ironic that, after all the energy that WoT fans have put into discussing whether or not Gawyn was under Compulsion to act as he did, the primary motivating factor that he comes up with here is nothing more than good ol' class warfare: "Why is this farmboy out changing the world when I, as prince of the most powerful nation in the Westlands, have largely ended up sitting around doing nothing?" I also liked the realism of his adopting a detached, neutral attitude toward Rand rather than now seeing him as a big good guy. Similarly, I find little fault in Gawyn's reactions to the roughly-worded command to return that Egwene had Silviana send; I agree with the remarks by macster @104 on this topic.

As for Galad, his decision not to call for Perrin's immediate execution flew in the face of his previously established ethical theory. He is perhaps starting to realize that absolute justice dealt out according to a rigid and comprehensive moral code does not always lead to the greater good. The wise counsel given to him by Morgase back in Ch29 was certainly a huge influence in this regard; for me, Morgase really shone in this episode, and it brought a nice resolution to her character arc.

To answer the challenge posed by CireNaes @217 ("What would it take?" re: Egwene), I again refer back to Freelancer's comments @40, specifically his idea that "whatever group she is part of is 'the group'"; I would like to see Egwene recognize that not everyone in the world would be better off with Aes Sedai guidance, and recognize that there are some fundamental flaws with the mindset of the entire organization. She does this to a degree, but she places far too much emphasis on the mistakes of Elaida's administration; Elaida was a symptom of a problem (specifically, AS's attitude of superiority and detachment from the world) rather than being the greater problem in herself.

On a more personal level, Egwene foremost needs to evidence the ability to recognize when she has treated her friends poorly and seek to make amends (one of the hallmarks of the "Jedi Master Rand vs Darth Rand" dichotomy). Also, I would like to see some recognition that her friends are competent and capable people in their own right, that they have some abilities which she herself does not, and that the world is not necessarily going to be best served by them doing exactly as she dictates to them.

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